"FISTICUFFS ON EVEREST" - The Daily Fail at it again

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orle

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 28, 2013 - 04:05pm PT
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316109/Fisticuffs-7-000ft-Swiss-Italian-Everest-climbers-fight-sherpas-close-summit.html?ito=feeds-newsxml


Simboli Moro, an Italian climber, and Wool Stick, from Switzerland got into a punch-up with the guides.

Is this Daily Fail's spelling of Simone Moro and Ueli Steck?

Wool Stick? Who'd fight a wool stick? The f*#k, over?

And they call the Sherpa "guides", as if they were "guiding" Moro and Steck..

Far out...
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Apr 28, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
Maybe jerry springer will do a remote broadcast so they can work out there differences.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 28, 2013 - 04:11pm PT
Well, we at "SOE" arent surprised.. There are no bounds they wont go to on that side of the hill.. Weve had Stick,, or Steck as hes known elswehere as well as Messner stealing TP from the base camp toidys and hustling it back over the Col to their side of the hill. You can imagine the inconvenience suffered by all at SOE!

We treat our Sherpas WAY bettr here, what with Tahoe lobsters, himalayan condor , corn, wine and Tequilla at every camp, the HOOVER-ROUND chair races at base camp 2 and such,, they are happy camperzzz..
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Apr 28, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
The headline also reads; 7000 feet. Should read 7000 meters.

Is this a legit publication? Why all the errors?
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 28, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
Actually ,, i gotta wonder what a "fight" is at over 7000M?? What,, do ya yank their o2 mask away and let it slap back on the cold face? Or is it full on crampon kickin ice axe wielding KungFu?
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2013 - 05:42pm PT
Yes Brandon, this is from the 2nd largest daily newspaper in the UK.

Why all the errors? Because being a festering tardcluster is their style.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Apr 28, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
Well, they get their facts wrong. Let me guess, it's owned by Murdoch?
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Apr 28, 2013 - 05:55pm PT
The title article seems fairly legit, per this article: The two Euros involved likely are these big names.

http://www.climbing.com/video/ueli-steck-simone-moro-everest-episode/
World-class alpinists Ueli Steck (Swiss) and Simone Moro (Italian) are on Mt. Everest to attempt a new route without oxygen. In this episode, the team quickly travels from Base Camp to Camp 2 in four hours, with a two-hour descent to BC. Here's what they have to say about acclimatization and working together.




AFP--Fight on Everest sparks police probe

An aerial view of Mount Everest (centre) taken earlier this month. Police near Mount Everest are investigating reports of a fight on the upper reaches of the world's highest mountain between two foreign climbers and their Nepalese guides, officials said Sunday.
AFP - Police near Mount Everest are investigating reports of a fight on the upper reaches of the world's highest mountain between two foreign climbers and their Nepalese guides, officials said Sunday.

"We were told our clients and the guides fought on their way to camp three. We don't have all the details yet, but our clients have come down off the peak," said Anish Gupta of Cho-Oyu Trekking, the Kathmandu-based company that organised the expedition.

He said that one of the clients, a Swiss national, had descended the mountain and was currently waiting for a flight back to Kathmandu.

The other client, an Italian, remained at Everest Base Camp and may still try to summit the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) peak.

Sitaram Karki, the chief district officer in Solukhumbu, the region where Everest stands, told AFP the police were conducting an investigation, but the details were still unclear.

"There are communication issues high on the mountain, but we have received the reports of a fight and deployed our team to investigate the incident," Karki said.
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Apr 28, 2013 - 06:40pm PT
Here is a somewhat more informative article.


http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Three+foreigners+thrashed+at+Everest+base+camp+&NewsID=374506
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Apr 28, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
maybe jerry springer just won't do. it might require the more sophisticated dr. phil. i can sense some reality series in the near future.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 28, 2013 - 07:31pm PT
Whatever the facts, the Sherpas involved have just ruined their careers. It seems guaranteed that to save the tourism industry, the high caste police investigating will make an example of the Sherpas, particularly if they had been drinking.

Of all people to beat up, Moro seems the least likely as his rescue service has already saved lives and will no doubt save more including those of Sherpas.

And guaranteed there will be a whole spate of books published within the year on the topic.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 28, 2013 - 07:45pm PT
And here is a calmer report from explorersweb.com, Everest and K2 section

The last week of April revealed a few surprises on Everest with uncertain weather and difficulty in establishing a route up the Lhotse Face.

The week started with heavy snow in the Western CWM including a meter, three feet, near Camp 1. This stopped most teams from moving up or down but proved to be a temporary halt as strong Sherpas and ambitious climbers broke trail on Tuesday thus allowing movement to resume.

The team leaders on the South gathered and agreed on a plan to fix the route above Camp 2. Over 15 Sherpas took on the task from nine different teams. The Sherpas made excellent progress to fix two lines, and up and a down rope, to the lower of the two Camp 3′s mid way up the Lhotse Face before running into a deep crevasse. It was reported that one Sherpa was hit by falling ice but his injury was not reported as serious. They took today, Sunday, off to rest.

Update: Report issued by Moro of a fight Friday between Ueli Steck, Simone Moro and the Sherpa fixing rope on the Lhotse Face. Translation . It appears both sides became upset as they felt there was interference with one another during the rope fixing work. While it is serious if in fact blows were exchanged, I would not get too upset by this as it is easy for egos and tempers to get out of control in these compressed environments.

A Sherpa was reported to have been hurt by “falling ice” on Friday but it is not clear this was related to this incident. However, it is now pretty clear that the Sherpas taking a “rest day” day is related to the incident. Hopefully everyone has calmed down and can get back to climbing.


http://www.explorersweb.com/offsite/?source=http%3A%2F%2Ffeedproxy.google.com%2F~r%2FTheBlogOnAlanarnettecom%2F~3%2FKY5fCkPK9D4%2F&lang=en
pc

climber
Apr 28, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
Strange indeed.

Hope Steck's okay.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 28, 2013 - 07:52pm PT
And here's Moro's account translated rather badly from the Italian by google. A pdf file has been included on the web page for download so I do not think he will mind this copy.


Moro, Steck and Griffith assaulted and threatened with death by the Sherpas. The account of the facts
April 28, 2013 - 17:32 | Author: Valentina d'Angella
The summit of Everest

The summit of Everest

Everest Base Camp, Nepal - "Things of this world," he told us the first thing Simone Moro when we spoke to him on the serious events that have just transpired at high camps of Everest, and he could not comment so that the inexplicable aggression which has been the subject of the Italian mountaineer, along with Ueli Steck and Jon Griffith. The following is the official press release issued by the expedition: the story of a violent assault, with a lot of death threats. For whatever reason, an ugly chapter in the history of Everest which falls precisely in the year of the sixtieth anniversary of the first ascent of the roof of the world.

"At around 8 am on April 27, 2013 Simone Moro, Ueli Steck and Jonathan Griffith have left the tent to reach camp 2 at about 7200 meters (field 3, bottom) on the west face of Lhotse. A team of high altitude Sherpas was gearing up the fixed ropes the wall and asked to mountaineers not to touch the strings as long as they worked. Therefore, the trio climbed about 50 feet away to avoid disturbing Sherpa in their work.

It should be noted that all three of the climbers have a long experience climbing mountains around the world and are well aware of the work they do the Sherpa who deeply respect.

When the three climbers reached the height at which they had pitched the tent, have made the traverse in the snow and were forced to cross the ropes of the Sherpas to reach their tent, located about 20 meters on each side. The climbers chose to cross at a point where others were standing 4 Sherpa parked while their leader continued to stare at the strings above.

Overcoming the strings did not interfere in any way with their work. The mountaineers climbed disconnected and without using the ropes, so no rope is tangled in another. Also, being passed over their heads, they could not hit him knocking him any snow or ice.

Jonathan Griffith went before and after passing the ropes course and another 15 meters behind him Ueli Steck. At that point, when Ueli Steck has exceeded the ropes and the leader of the Sherpa climbers noted below began to shout and hit the ice with the ax.

Continuing to yell climbers hooked the rope and came down to rest. Since Ueli was loose and not attached to ropes, it was natural that it should hold your hands up to protect from the head of the Sherpas who fell right where he was. This has led the leader of the Sherpas to accuse him of "touching him."

As he hit the ice with all his strength and shouted at him Ueli Steck "because you touch me", said the climbers had hit the ice one of the Sherpas. Since the trio was climbing in a fully independent and moved upon the snow, this is highly unlikely.

Ueli Steck has tried to calm him by offering him help in fixing the ropes up to Camp 3, but this has only made things worse. Simone Moro then, he joined the group and the leader of the Sherpas if it is taken with him wielding the ax against him. Simone has cursed him, as is natural when it is attacked.

No further discussion was able to calm the leader of the Sherpas and as a final act of defiance gave orders to his entire team of 17 Sherpa on the west face of Lhotse to return to camp 2. There was no reason to come down from the mountain because of the 3 climbers. They had not touched nor had interfered with their work. To defuse the situation Ueli Steck has set more than 260 meters of rope up to Camp 3.

When then the climbers fell to Field 2, about 100 gathered Sherpa attacked them. Have suddenly become aggressive, not just kicking and punching but also throwing stones at them.

A small group of Western acted as a buffer between the crowd out of control and climbers, and they owe their lives to these brave and selfless people. However, the three climbers were attacked as well as many of the Westerners who were trying to calm the situation. It has been said that the climbers during the night one of them would be dead, and that the other two would be decided later.

After about 50 minutes the crowd calmed down and the mountaineers, who had been driven away, and who had been told to hide, he was told that if they were gone within an hour would kill them all.

The climbers have taken the essential and followed a circuitous route to go down to the base camp of Everest, a new way in the midst of crevasses, seracs and without strings, knowing that given the situation that was the safest place to stay ( ed. since it did not allow them to follow the normal route).

The Sherpas have said that the reason why they attacked the climbers was that they had brought upon the ice to those of them who were under. No one, however, appears Sherpa wounded. On the other hand on a wall of ice, being hit by pieces of ice is a possibility that can happen. The climbers believe that the head of the Sherpas was tired, she was cold and he felt wounded pride from their three who moved without a rope and much faster than him, salendogli the side. In any case, there is no reason to keep trying to kill 3 foreign mountaineers.

Nepalese authorities have taken the matter very seriously since there are commercial expeditions on the mountain. There are 3 leaders were taken away from the mountain and the police, the Ministry of Tourism and the leaders of the Association of Sherpa are investigating.

The three climbers would like to thank all those who have saved their lives in Field 2, and those who now are carrying out the investigation. "

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&ie=UTF-8&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.montagna.tv%2Fcms%2F%3Fp%3D47029
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 28, 2013 - 07:59pm PT
well i just attempted to read that LOL! I have NOOOOooo idea wth he said though!
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 28, 2013 - 08:19pm PT
If you interfere with my strings I'm gonna shlt in your sled!!!

Were they tied on? Together?

Anybody see Stuck On You where the siamese twins get into a fight with each other and one of them tries to run away?
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 28, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
hehehe,,i re-read it,, cant tell you a thing about who was where doing what.. It sounds as if they really ARE part of "SOE"! Of only there had been something about lobster carcasses being flung about, and some one getting bopped with a tequila bottle !
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Apr 28, 2013 - 10:03pm PT
Quit playing dumb Rong...Those tourist know the difference between squirrel and lobster...! RJ
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 28, 2013 - 10:05pm PT
No way RJ! You think SMART folk go stand in a line 120 deep at the hillary step?
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Apr 28, 2013 - 10:19pm PT
Pretty crazy.

Jon Griffith posts here occasionally. Hope he and the others were not badly hurt.

On the 60th anniversary of the first ascent, add the risk of a beating to the objective dangers.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 28, 2013 - 10:51pm PT
As best I can make out, there has been a lot of tension this year over which route to take up the Lhotse face as there was a big problem with rock fall last year. Any problem affects the Sherpas disproportionately as they make so many more trips. All of the commercial outfits agreed to try a route further to the right, but that way proved icier and crevassed. A Sherpa fell into a crevasse and was pulled out and another was injured by ice fall. There was debate about moving the fixed ropes further to the left again. In the end, two separate lines were fixed to facilitate two way traffic and avoid the crowding that marred last year. In compensation, the Khumbu ice fall seems easier this year with fewer long ladders thanks to the heavy winter snows.

Along come three Europeans who are climbing on their own with little or no Sherpa support which is seen as noble by western mountaineers and somewhat treasonous by the Sherpas, and then the western mountaineers climb horizontally, all three of them, across the fixed lines above the Sherpas. A Sherpa gets hit by ice and they blame the western free lancers. All of them are tired, oxygen deprived, and probably dehydrated and hungry. So far, it's easy to see what happened.

The Sherpa leader becomes angry which is pretty unusual, and one guesses there were other aggravations earlier. He calls down his crew; they're all happy to go back to Camp 2. The retelling of the story there makes it worse, and the Sherpas stupidly decide to make it a tribal thing and back their own based on hearsay. Threats are made and other westerners intervene, it hits the web and the Nepali police are called which is never good for the Sherpas. The whole thing was totally avoidable, but now there's a big mess for Sherpas, western climbers, and the Nepalese government.

The Sherpas hold the ultimate power however, if they stick together and strike. Perhaps this is the beginning of a Sherpa mountaineering union. More likely, the leaders will be thrown in jail and the rest will carry on. The Sherpa community will be split and this event however it turns out, will be regarded as a major turning point.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Apr 28, 2013 - 11:04pm PT
thanks jan. that seems plausible, save that the timeline is still murky.

the explorer's web story placed the sherpa injured by falling ice on the 26th. the conflict appears to have happened on the 27th. and i don't place a lot of faith in the reporting at the moment, given the logistical difficulties.

but yes, i would expect that whatever happened was basically a flash point for other things that had been building up and that probably didnt involve the steck-moroe-g team at all.

if the report is correct, that ueli has been airlifted out, that would suggest fairly serious injuries.

ueli is one of the nicest folks i've ever met. and it'd be hard to id anyone in the last 20 years who's done more for alpine style work on difficult peaks and up high. i really hope everyone involved is ok.

and yes, i agree with your last judgment. i doubt that in hindsight, in a few years, this will be just a minor incident. lots of things have been building up--
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO
Apr 28, 2013 - 11:06pm PT
Jan: Thanks for your realistic analysis and prediction of outcomes. Anthropologsts should replace journalists as news sources when cultural divides must be crossed.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Apr 28, 2013 - 11:14pm PT
TWP!

Two thumbs up for your comment!!


and Jan: Thank you posting on this subject, with your rich-background in Nepal.

Jan: Thanks for your realistic analysis and prediction of outcomes. Anthropologsts should replace journalists as news sources when cultural divides must be crossed.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Apr 28, 2013 - 11:19pm PT
So you hire people to do something and while they are doing it you do something that makes them feel threatened.

They then get angry about their employer making it personally lethal to complete a day's work. What a classic exercise in 1930's labour relations.

The Sherpas and all other Himalayan porters REALLY don't have the same agenda concerning a project as the climbers.

Jan, you of all here understand that these locals are working for a living and there are limits to an employment agreement.

What's next, Home Depot employees in Kansas are supposed to wire up your house in a lightning storm just to prove they have the right spirit ?
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Apr 28, 2013 - 11:37pm PT
I don't know. I think the whole Everest thing is getting a bit out of control.

And can you imagine Sherpa's encountering Ueli Steck types? What thoughts must cross their minds regarding their future. Life is tough, someone has a bad day, which we all do, and things go down.

I have no idea, other than what I've read here, just what happened, but it would be awesome (if possible) for Ueli's group to let it go and help the Sherpa's involved not get wasted by the authorities.

Just a few thoughts from someone that knows not much. Damn, mountaineering is just crazy. Just finishing Everest: The West Ridge by Thomas F. Hornbein.

Page 104, "And so it went. The daylight hours were often spent doing little and accomplishing less in our high sunny world, trapped between the walls of Nuptse and Everest. The heat and stillness were oppressive. Sometimes I would want to take my temperature to make sure I wasn't sick, but it was only glacier lassitude------we called it the 'Cwm gloom,' which was not gloom but a delightful lethargy that must be the Himalayan substitute for sex."

Heard some great stories from Jim Bridwell. That Dude, needs someone to write them down before they get lost. lynnie
klk

Trad climber
cali
Apr 28, 2013 - 11:40pm PT
So you hire people to do something and while they are doing it you do something that makes them feel threatened.

i don't think that's what happened.

as best i can tell from the current reporting, the sherpas were not working for simone, ueli, et al.

at least not on that rope fixing. it appears that these were two separate teams, one a fixing team of sherpas, the other a 3-man indy group, but climbing lines that ran parallel at that point.

so basically, two groups of professionals, independent of each other, but working in close proximity.

it may be that the contractor responsible for base camp ops, cooking & etc., for the ch-i-gb team, was also one of the contractors who paid the sherpa fixing team, but for a different set of clients. i can't tell from the reports available to me now.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 28, 2013 - 11:42pm PT
The situation is actually a little more complicated Jim. The Sherpas work for the big outfits who have, from the Sherpas up to the western owners, been unhappy for some time now that free lance climbers took advantage of their facilities. The Sherpas are particularly scornful of so called free lance soloists on Everest who use their fixed ropes all the way to the top, then claim they climbed Everest all by themselves.

However well known in the West, Griffith, Moro and Steck are seen as free lancers by the Sherpas. Although they did not use the fixed ropes (they were fixing their own to the left), they were then seen as jeopardizing the Sherpas in part by being unroped and thus dangerous missiles if they should slip and fall which has been known to happen even to the best.

I'm sure the Sherpas felt three ambitious guys were risking them, their livelihood, and the prospects for success of many other people, who also happen to be paying clients. In Asia, the group always supercedes the individual,and the large group the smaller one. It's a classic case of cross-cultural misunderstanding.

The larger question I think, now that so many Sherpas are getting qualified as internationally licensed mountain guides, is whether alpine style ascents dominated by westerners or Sherpa guided ascents will predominate in the Himalayas of the future. A good compromise perhaps, would be for the pros to stay away from Everest, especially the crowded southside, and leave that to the Sherpas and their clients. There are lots of other 8,000 m. peaks with new routes beckoning.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Apr 28, 2013 - 11:53pm PT
The larger question . . . is whether alpine style ascents dominated by westerners or Sherpa guided ascents will predominate in the Himalayas of the future. A good compromise perhaps, would be for the pros to stay away from Everest, especially the crowded southside, and leave that to the Sherpas and their clients.

yeah, that's the crux: everest could become a place where sherpas hang ropes and rich n00b wankers jug them.

and because the mass market cares only about everest, and not about some brutally technical alpine ascent of a different 8k, even folks who would much prefer to be on a different peak get driven to everest. the problem is that the compromise-- sherpas and texas oil execs on everest, serious alpinists on other peaks --isn't functional. at least at the moment.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:03am PT
Thanks Jan,

The majority of your post reflected to me the fact that Everest is considered a work place for those who carry the freight and make a relatively safe route for it's delivery.

Their agenda is making a living and the glory at reaching the top is something second place to a paycheque and coming home to family.

The Sherpas are famous for their level of commitment and care if someone from anywhere gets in trouble.



Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:07am PT
I still can't get over that they named the Swiss climber as "Wool Stick." I saw this initially on their page and thought WTF. Came over here and got the real story. DM is such a rag. They do post interesting stories but NEVER fact check anything. So many errors you'd think a slow 8 year-old child is doing their research work.

Everyone else, thanks for the clarifications on what happened. This is going to be a mess. Sherpas looking out for high ticket clients to come versus brilliant alpinists who want to get up the mountain by their own means.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:21am PT
why are these three top climbers wasting time on the yak route anyway?
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:27am PT
"Wool Stick"... Buwaaahahahaaaa... Ohw lordy what a straight line!
WBraun

climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:28am PT
Someone should hire Jan to go over there as a mediator to fix this mess ........?
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:35am PT
FYI it looks like the DM deleted the article. I commented on it and now I can't find the article on their website where it was a few hours ago. I'm sure many across Europe who follow alpinism got on them about this.
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:38am PT
What would Donini say?
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:52am PT
From Simone Moro's website (a bit more coherent than the translation above):

At about 8am on 27th April 2013 Simone Moro (IT), Ueli Steck (CH), and Jonathan Griffith (UK) left Camp 2 to reach a tent at around 7200m (lower Camp 3) on the Lhotse Face of Mount Everest. A team of high altitude sherpas were ‘fixing’ the Lhotse face and the climbers were asked to not touch the fixed ropes they were establishing. As such the trio climbed about 50m away and to the side of the Sherpa team to avoid disturbing them in their work. It should be noted that all three climbers have extensive climbing experience all over the world and were very aware of the work being carried out by the Sherpas and the respect given to them for it.

When the three climbers reached the height of their already established tent, they traversed across the snow and were forced to step over the lines of the Sherpas to reach their tent about 20 meters to the side. The climbers chose to step across the lines at a belay stance where 4 other sherpas were attached to the ice face whilst their lead climber continued to fix the line above. Stepping over the lines does not interfere in any way with the work being carried out. The climbers were soloing and not using ropes so there was no rope tangling either. In addition by passing beneath the lead climber no ice or snow could be knocked down on him. Jonathan Griffith was in the lead at this point and after crossing the rope and traversing another 15 meters on a snow ramp Ueli Steck followed. At the point where Ueli Steck stepped over the rope the lead climber noticed the climbers below and began shouting and banging the ice with his axe erratically. Still shouting down at the climbers, he fixed his rope and abseiled down to the belay stance. As Ueli was soloing and therefore not attached to a rope it was natural that he should hold his hands up to take the impact of the force arriving on him form the lead climber abseiling right on to him. This prompted the lead climber to accuse Ueli Steck of ‘touching him’. In between hitting the ice with all his force and screaming at Ueli Steck ‘

why you touch me’ he said that they had kicked ice down on them and injured a Sherpa. Seeing as the trio were climbing a completely independent line and entirely on snow this is highly unlikely. Ueli Steck tried to help calm the situation by offering to help fix the lines up to Camp 3 but this only made matters worse. Simone Moro then joined the team and the lead climber turned on him wielding his ice axe in his direction. Simone swore at the lead climber as is the natural reaction when faced with this aggression. No amount of talking would calm the lead Sherpa down and as a final act of defiance he ordered his whole team of 17 Sherpas off the Lhotse Face and back to Camp 2. There was no reason to descend off the mountain because of the three climbers. They had not touched or interfered with the Sherpa’s work. To help smooth things over Ueli Steck fixed a further 260m of rope to Camp 3. By the time the climbers descended back to Camp 2 some 100 Sherpas had grouped together and attacked the three climbers. They became instantly aggressive and not only punched and kicked the climbers, but threw many rocks as well. A small group of Westerners acted as a buffer between the out of control mob and the climbers, and they owe their lives to these brave and selfless people. Nevertheless all three climbers were attacked as well as many of the Westerners who were trying to calm the situation down. The climbers were told that by that night one of them would be dead and the other two they would see to later. After about 50 minutes the crowd had calmed down and the climbers, who had been pushed away and told to hide, had regrouped and were told that if they weren’t gone in one hour that they would all be killed.

The climbers packed the bare essentials and made a circuitous route back down to the base of Mount Everest in heavily crevassed terrain with no rope on, feeling that given the current situation this was the safest place to be. The Sherpas said that the reason they attacked the climbers was because they had knocked ice down on a Sherpa below. As it stands no Sherpa has come forward to show any injury. Furthermore on an ice face getting hit by chunks of ice is a very natural occurrence. The climbers believe that the lead Sherpa was tired and cold and felt that his pride had been damaged as the three climbers were moving unroped and much faster to the side of him. Whatever the reason may be, there is no reason to instigate vigilante rule and to try and kill three visiting climbers. The Nepalese authorities have taken the matter very seriously as have commercial teams on the mountain. At the moment the 3 ring leaders have been taken off the mountain and the Police, Ministry of Tourism and the head of the Sherpa Association are investigating. The three climbers would like to extend a huge thank you to all those who saved their lives at Camp 2 and to those who are now taking over the investigation.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:31am PT
Everyone else, thanks for the clarifications on what happened. This is going to be a mess. Sherpas looking out for high ticket clients to come versus brilliant alpinists who want to get up the mountain by their own means.


I think this is really the wrong way to look at it. Not every client who goes with a commercial expedition is high ticket. Some of them saved for years, mortgaged their house etc. to follow their dream. Why are they less important than a brilliant alpinist? And if those alpinists are so brilliant what are they doing on the cargo route anyway? I know they hoped to do a new route higher up but why there in the height of the season? They're good enough they could do it in the fall instead and have more of a challenge from both weather and less possibility of support.

And finally the really big question, with fourteen peaks above 8,000 meters, why can't brilliant alpinists find somewhere else to climb that doesn't interfere with Sherpa livelihood? The Sherpas think westerners are weird for being so crazy over one mountain, but as long as they make a living, they'll accommodate that craziness. If some other mountain were equally desired, they'd go there.

Sherpas want to support their families and come back alive and they don't have any other means. Brilliant alpinists can climb on any other continent they want.

And finally, am I the only one who thinks climbing unroped above other people on an icy slope, even if they're anchored in, is kind of dangerous in case of a fall? One body hurtlin into another, crampons through the rope and human flesh etc?
bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:53am PT
TO Clarify for many of you:

Simone Moro - the Pilot whom rescued injured Sherpas off of Everest last year, extracted bodies from Pumori via long line, and retrieved the body af a Canadian woman from the south col, arrived this spring in Kahtmandu bringing from Europe, his own higher capacity Eurocopter to support yet more rescue efforts this year on Everest.

Three Cheers for a Hero, a Gentleman, and a world class Himalayan Athelete

Simone Morro, an Athlete and a Gentleman with his new Eurocopter 2013
Simone Morro, an Athlete and a Gentleman with his new Eurocopter 2013
Credit: Simone Morro

Simone is presently Stationed under the auspices of Fishtail Air, at Everest Basecamp, on contract with the Nepalese helicopter company he works with in Nepal when he is not climbing.

http://www.fishtailair.com/team-fishtail.php
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:59am PT
Yes, Simone Moro is one of the good guys (and the other two as well). That's why this whole thing is such a mess. That's also why the three Sherpas taken off the mountain are going to get fried. Meanwhile, it will be really interesting to hear the debates among the Sherpas after the season. There were so many involved, it can't be papered over and I'm sure they were disgruntled about other things.

If everyone is smart, they'll have an extra puja to ask the gods for harmony on the mountain, both sides will apologize and exchange prayer scarves, and things will continue on.

If anyone from the west decides to press charges in the chaotic and corrupt system there, it will get really ugly.

bmacd

Trad climber
100% Canadian
Apr 29, 2013 - 03:01am PT
Jan you should read read the account on Simone's web site, you have it wrong about who was climbing above who

http://www.adventure-journal.com/2013/04/violence-hits-mt-everest-as-sherpas-fight-with-ueli-steck-others/
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 03:20am PT
The Sherpa lead climber was above everyone, but Moro, Steck and Griffith were above several Sherpas who were at belay anchors resting and probably above others a pitch or so below (there were 17 Sherpas there altogether). M,S, and G crossed over two lines that were between the lead Sherpa and the belayers and resters - unroped. There have been numerous fatalities on that wall from world class climbers unexpectedly slipping there. I can see the concern.

Beyond that, the Sherpa teams are accustomed to being the first up the mountain. The icefall doctors always go up there first and fix ropes. M,S, and G broke that protocol in their haste to go up and now their expedition is probably prematurely finished. By the crowded standards of the Alps, climbing over people and their ropes is ok. The Sherpas however, come from a different culture and I'm sure, feel their perogatives, responsibilities, and livelihood are threatened by do it yourself crews. They come from a culture of hierarchy, protocol, and face saving, all of which were ignored.

The Sherpas also responded very badly as a group and need to understand that and not just blame the three leaders who were taken off the mountain. Those three can always plead oxygen deprivation and overwork, the same excuse for the bad behavior of so many of their clients over the years.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Apr 29, 2013 - 03:40am PT
hey there say, jan, and all...

just learning and listening to all this, thanks for sharing,
there is always so much more to all these things than meets the eye...


orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2013 - 06:35am PT
Thanks Jan, what a sad episode. I didn't know that Steck/Moro/Griffith were up there attempting a new line but it seems like peak season might not be the best time for that. Didn't Ueli run up Everest in a single-day push last year, just a few days before the Sherpa fixed the route? Hope he's ok..

Simone Moro - the Pilot whom rescued injured Sherpas off of Everest last year, extracted bodies from Pumori via long line, and retrieved the body af a Canadian woman from the south col, arrived this spring in Kahtmandu bringing from Europe, his own higher capacity Eurocopter to support yet more rescue efforts this year on Everest.

Three Cheers for a Hero, a Gentleman, and a world class Himalayan Athelete

I'll second that. Dude's a total legend and has his heart (and head) in the right place. He deserves a f*#king medal and not a beating, obviously. Baffling how medieval this whole act seems.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 07:18am PT
We won't begin to get the whole story from the Sherpa side until they all come back to Kathmandu in early June. Then the interesting stories will begin and we'll have a better idea of the personalities and viewpoints of the various people involved.

Meanwhile, Adrian Ballinger has written a very well balanced account of what he was told by both Sherpas and western mountaineers. It turns out some western people also became violent against Sherpas and the two groups were separated by peace making Sherpas and westerners working together.

He concludes, "to me multiple mistakes were made from both sides".........."The professional climbers involved could have and should have chosen somewhere else to acclimatize on this day, instead of solo climbing above the rope fixing team".......

"With that said, the response from some (not all) of the Sherpa was inexplicable and inexcusable. Regardless of the disagreement, or the inappropriate language used by the western climbers, the threats and attempts at violence by the Sherpa involved were wrong".

http://www.explorersweb.com/offsite/?source=http%3A%2F%2Falpenglowexpeditions.com%2Fblog%2Feverest-best-and-worst-0&lang=en
WTF

climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 08:20am PT
Ha rich tw#ts being humped up the hill versus real mountaineers.

Sherpas better realize that the west can make it possible for them to be poor and hungry again when no one wants to go to the highest dump in the world.

Hey Sherpa clean up your mountain. It's a dump and well the big momma has a way of cleaning you from her flanks if she thinks your not respecting her and others.

Real men climb K2

Just saying.

couchmaster

climber
pdx
Apr 29, 2013 - 09:18am PT
Possible interpretation:

Sounds like the Sherpas, who were working to fix lines, got pissed when the aggressive as#@&%e westerners climbed above them both disregarding the request not too, and then knocked sh#t onto them. The westerners said "you told us not to touch the frikkan rope you were fixing and we didn't, and furthermore, we didn't knock sh#t down on you when we crossed above you, you're just making sh#t up".

Sherpas: "No we didn't, you knocked ice onto our heads....asswipes"

Asswipes: "Yes you are making sh#t up".

Sherps: "No we aren't."


It's a high risk environment and the Sherpas are most likely more conservative. So they "discuss". Repeat till fists flies.



Move on and climb.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 29, 2013 - 09:32am PT
i dont understand why any one was removed from base camp. In a population like that, whats the odds of any of them running into each other- gotta be a few thousand there at least!
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:08am PT
Sherpas are there for a financial reason. Yes, 99% of people summiting via SC route owe it to them, but they don't own the mountain.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:20am PT
Actually the Nepalese government owns the mountain and sells permits to climb it. That's a large part of the problem since the more people they pack in there, the more money the impoverished government makes. They can close the mountain at any time as they have others, though that seems unlikely. They can more easily ban both individual Sherpas and individual foreign climbers who are deemed to be troublemakers.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:36am PT
Try climbing over guides on the regular route up the Matterhorn. These so-called tourist routes are a horror show.
local1

Mountain climber
CH
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:47am PT
MOUNT EVEREST, NEPAL

At about 8am on 27th April 2013 Simone Moro (IT), Ueli Steck (CH), and Jonathan Griffith (UK) left Camp 2 to reach a tent at around 7200m (lower Camp 3) on the Lhotse Face of Mount Everest. A team of high altitude sherpas were 'fixing' the Lhotse face and the climbers were asked to not touch the fixed ropes they were establishing. As such the trio climbed about 50m away and to the side of the Sherpa team to avoid disturbing them in their work. It should be noted that all three climbers have extensive climbing experience all over the world and were very aware of the work being carried out by the Sherpas and the respect given to them for it.
When the three climbers reached the height of their already established tent, they traversed across the snow and were forced to step over the lines of the Sherpas to reach their tent about 20 meters to the side. The climbers chose to step across the lines at a belay stance where 4 other sherpas were attached to the ice face whilst their lead climber continued to fix the line above. Stepping over the lines does not interfere in any way with the work being carried out. The climbers were soloing and not using ropes so there was no rope tangling either. In addition by passing beneath the lead climber no ice or snow could be knocked down on him.
Jonathan Griffith was in the lead at this point and after crossing the rope and traversing another 15 meters on a snow ramp Ueli Steck followed. At the point where Ueli Steck stepped over the rope the lead climber noticed the climbers below and began shouting and banging the ice with his axe erratically. Still shouting down at the climbers, he fixed his rope and abseiled down to the belay stance. As Ueli was soloing and therefore not attached to a rope it was natural that he should hold his hands up to take the impact of the force arriving on him form the lead climber abseiling right on to him. This prompted the lead climber to accuse Ueli Steck of 'touching him'. In between hitting the ice with all his force and screaming at Ueli Steck 'why you touch me' he said that they had kicked ice down on them and injured a Sherpa. Seeing as the trio were climbing a completely independent line and entirely on snow this is highly unlikely.
Ueli Steck tried to help calm the situation by offering to help fix the lines up to Camp 3 but this only made matters worse. Simone Moro then joined the team and the lead climber turned on him wielding his ice axe in his direction. Simone swore at the lead climber as is the natural reaction when faced with this aggression. No amount of talking would calm the lead Sherpa down and as a final act of defiance he ordered his whole team of 17 Sherpas off the Lhotse Face and back to Camp 2. There was no reason to descend off the mountain because of the three climbers. They had not touched or interfered with the Sherpa's work. To help smooth things over Ueli Steck fixed a further 260m of rope to Camp 3.
By the time the climbers descended back to Camp 2 some 100 Sherpas had grouped together and attacked the three climbers. They became instantly aggressive and not only punched and kicked the climbers, but threw many rocks as well. A small group of Westerners acted as a buffer between the out of control mob and the climbers, and they owe their lives to these brave and selfless people. Nevertheless all three climbers were attacked as well as many of the Westerners who were trying to calm the situation down. The climbers were told that by that night one of themwould be dead and the other two they would see to later. After about 50 minutes the crowd had calmed down and the climbers, who had been pushed away and told to hide, had regrouped and were told that if they weren't gone in one hour that they would all be killed.
The climbers packed the bare essentials and made a circuitous route back down to the base of Mount Everest in heavily crevassed terrain with no rope on, feeling that given the current situation this was the safest place to be.
The Sherpas said that the reason they attacked the climbers was because they had knocked ice down on a Sherpa below. As it stands no Sherpa has come forward to show any injury. Furthermore on an ice face getting hit by chunks of ice is a very natural occurrence. The climbers believe that the lead Sherpa was tired and cold and felt that his pride had been damaged as the three climbers were moving unroped and much faster to the side of him. Whatever the reason may be, there is no reason to instigate vigilante rule and to try and kill three visiting climbers.
The Nepalese authorities have taken the matter very seriously as have commercial teams on the mountain. At the moment the 3 ring leaders have been taken off the mountain and the Police, Ministry of Tourism and the head of the Sherpa Association are investigating.
The three climbers feel that they don't believe that their actions were the reasons behind such a mass attack. They believe that the reaction was from a far more deep rooted and long term problem, which is the way that Nepalis feel treated by Westerners on the mountain and this was a uprising against that. The three climbers are completely independent and not part of any commercial expedition.
The three climbers would like to extend a huge thank you to all those who saved their lives at Camp 2 and to those who are now taking over the investigation.
local1

Mountain climber
CH
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:51am PT
He concludes, "to me multiple mistakes were made from both sides".........."The professional climbers involved could have and should have chosen somewhere else to acclimatize on this day, instead of solo climbing above the rope fixing team".......

They were on the way to their tent, beyound the C3 - they had to cross the fixed lines. Where else to go and besides, the mountain doesen't belong to someone.

I double Jan's insights as I am in contact with the guys - it is more behind then a crossing of fixed lines

Sad story! If you know Ueli and the others you would know, that they give big respect to the work of the sherpas.
steve shea

climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 11:25am PT
"It's so crowded, nobody goes anymore"...Yogi Bera. Jan is correct Everest is a money machine for the Govt. of Nepal. But if the Ministry of Tourism keeps over booking the south side, they will have essentially crapped in their own messkit. Even fit non climbing athletic types will forego attempting Everest with a trekking co should this keep up. That photo of the line up last year did not do the ministry much good. Now this. But then again maybe most paying to jug the SCol route just see at it as another athletic event like the Iron Man etc where they are used to being in crowds. And it is Everest. Sure isn't climbing to me.
There is a beautiful mountain just down the way on the Tibetan border. Gyachung Kang. It has a south facing spur that looks like the Walker and has huge faces. The cool thing is that on the summit your feet are under 8000m but your head is almost at 8000m. Do a shoulder stand and your there. No fights on that mountain.
Jan also has it on another point as well. The Sherpas see self sustaining alpine expeds as a threat, financially. Therefore a threat to their way of life. Unfortunately this is not limited to Everest. Seen it first hand and long before this.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 29, 2013 - 11:55am PT
We at "SOE" condemn the violence, the crowds, the trash, the Sherpas, the clients, and the guides..



jschaefer

Sport climber
Munich, Germany
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:33pm PT
Oh, isn't Mr Wool Stick the cousin of Mr. Yvon Clochard, the famous clothing expert?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
By the crowded standards of the Alps, climbing over people and their ropes is ok. The Sherpas however, come from a different culture and I'm sure, feel their perogatives, responsibilities, and livelihood are threatened by do it yourself crews. They come from a culture of hierarchy, protocol, and face saving, all of which were ignored.

That sounds pretty true. But to resort to gang mentality and outright thuggery when the guys returned to camp 2? It seems they HAD to know that it wouldn't go well for them in the long run.

And people wonder why I go SO FAR out of my way to avoid climbing above or beneath other parties. A mini example that rears it's head is our climb of Birdland last year. Parties came up beneath us, one accused us of not yelling rope as we descended to the side of them, then they dropped a piece of gear on us as we continued down the wall. Some choice words were shared by all......


Everest is the ATM of the Nepali government. Put westerners in, take money out. Sherpas stuck in the middle.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:37pm PT
It always takes two to tango.
weezy

climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
i see this becoming a thing. UFC meets alpinism. let's breath some life back into the biggest chosspile on the planet. two men climb up and square off with ice axes at each camp. three minute rounds, points for every good "stick". whoever doesn't die, wins. redbull needs to get on this sh#t.
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
We should send in the Drones.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 29, 2013 - 01:48pm PT
I'm gonna beat you with Wolly Stick!

DMT
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
Ever wondered how he solos up steep ice like that, getting every axe placement right on the first swing?






















































Wool Sticks
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 01:58pm PT
Bottom line:

Because of many circumstances such as the greed of the Nepal government in issuing so many permits to the perceived cache of climbing to the highest point on earth, etc.... Mount Everest can't really be seen as a true mountaineering challenge where all normal rules apply. It's a circus and because of that circus rules (AKA free for all) apply.
E

Social climber
Tujunga CA.
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
moro is working for fishtail air services as of last year. Prolly repacing the pilot that was killed rescuing two climbers from the summit of ama dablam.one of them was one of the giri boys. they were trying a skid landing ,got a roter strike, and tumbled down the mountain. next guy pullrd it off with a long line. amazing that it actually worked the first time.....the climbers were just devastated
i think that they were climbing the Humar route, got to within 300 feet of the top and found unconsolidated snow and could climb no further. these days you can have a nepali cell phone and they used it to call a rescue.The guys at the hotel in namche knew that pilot....they said he was nuts
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
So is Ueli Moro and Griffith coming down and not gonna go on with their plan? That would suck.
michael feldman

Mountain climber
millburn, nj
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:30pm PT
According to this story, their climb is back on: http://news.yahoo.com/nepal-officials-vow-ensure-security-everest-fight-113033979.html
Would be great if this was true. Supposedly an apology and the climb is back on. Hopefully the climb will move forward and everyone can safely get back doing that which they were prepared to do. The mountain is dangerous enough. Such an incident has no place in the climbing world.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 29, 2013 - 02:44pm PT
It was Aleister Crowley with a revolver on K2.































Oh, I thought we were playing CLUE.
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2013 - 02:51pm PT
Woolister Cowleg in punch-up with guides above 7000ft!


orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2013 - 02:52pm PT

According to this story, their climb is back on: http://news.yahoo.com/nepal-officials-vow-ensure-security-everest-fight-113033979.html
Would be great if this was true. Supposedly an apology and the climb is back on.

Hope so. Good to see Hawley have her say, too..
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Apr 29, 2013 - 04:02pm PT
My ol' climbing buddy is up on Everest right now. I'll see if I can get in touch with him for the low down.
dave729

Trad climber
Western America
Apr 29, 2013 - 04:09pm PT
Everest Blog. Maybe the 1st satellite image of recent Kung Fu fighting
on the Lhotse face above Camp II ?

Unidentified climber (Wool Stick?) negotiates right of way with Sherpa
guides.
Credit: dave729





Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Apr 29, 2013 - 04:14pm PT
Everest sounds so horrible. I don't ever want to go there.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 29, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
Fist fights on Everest? That's like getting lost in the snow in the alps and getting eaten by st Bernard's!
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
Apr 29, 2013 - 04:44pm PT
dave, maybe im weird, but i laughed out loud really hard at the pic above. +2.
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
Apr 29, 2013 - 04:44pm PT
Dave729... how did you get the actual encounter image?
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Apr 29, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
It's a circus and because of that circus rules (AKA free for all) apply.

"Circus" isn't a free for all.

I've never been to Everest but it's not circus.....
nah000

climber
canuckistan
Apr 29, 2013 - 04:53pm PT
dave729 that pic is the funniest thing i've seen on this site in a while.

thanks for the hilarity.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 29, 2013 - 05:12pm PT
I wanted a route, and for my sins, they gave me one...


I dunno Sir, the fix ropes are HOT.
Well waddaya mean HOT?
I mean HOT, Sir. Sherpas' got the high ground and they're throwing rocks and axes.
I don't give a sh#t about Sherpa. We got a mountain to climb. You can either CLIMB or put up the fixed ropes your choice son!


It was a great route. A beautiful route. An awesome route. I am but a piton, driven into the shattered rock of reality.

Woolie STICK! Woolie STICK! Woolie STICK!



Never climb over the ropes, I gotta remember, NEVER CLIMB OVER THE ROPES! F*#KING SHERPA, MAN!!!111


And when it was over?


I moved to California.

DMT
orangesporanges

Social climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 05:19pm PT
I have seen otherwise delightful Sherpa Guides
First hand
Threatening alpinists before
Who were not using their ropes (or paying for their service)
Their is a problem
Westerners who hump their own loads are seen to be taking money from these guys mouths
Same with Westerners that don't use and pay for fixed lines and ladders
Feeling threatened by climbers that don't need their support to climb by fair means
And for all that AC, HIMEX et. al. voice in appreciation for the Sherpa Guides work
Sherpa Guides (who do the bulk of the sharp-end guiding work) are asking, why aren't we getting paid something more in-line with what the Western Guides score
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
It isn't just the Sherpas. The western owners of the guide companies are unhappy about it too. If the free lancers were entirely self sufficient, that would be one thing but they're essentially dirt baggers using other people's work and equipment for free and then bragging how they got up Everest on their own. There have also been cases where gear and fixed ropes were stolen at the end of the season when clients were still on their way up.

The inevitable result I'm guessing, is that everyone will have to pay for a guide service whether they use it or not, and have ID badges they wear on the mountain.
local1

Mountain climber
CH
Apr 29, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
As much as I know, Ueli is paying the toll for passing the Khumbu
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Apr 29, 2013 - 05:33pm PT
Or they could just get a wilderness permit !
orangesporanges

Social climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
Ueli and Simone on E
House and Prezelj on Makalu
Dirt-baggers that don't pay their way?
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
That is the truly sad part of this. They were the ones who just happened to be there annoying the Sherpas when the pot boiled over and ended up being the victims of a lot of other frustrations. There have been so many other candidates, but they happened to be the ones in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Let us hope that Moro and Griffith make apologies in which case the Sherpas will also, they have a reconciliation ceremony, and continue on with a realistic discussion later about the problems on Everest. Something good could yet come of this.

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 06:00pm PT
Something good could yet come of this.

Color me sceptical. Why don't they go do something far from the maddening
crowds like, say, Gasherbrum or K2? Oh, I forgot, Paris Match won't pay for
stories on those peaks.
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Apr 29, 2013 - 06:05pm PT
Your comments are fabulous annotation to the thread, Jan...

...appreciate your contributions!
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
Apr 29, 2013 - 06:10pm PT
Jan is totally correct. However, I am still hoping it involves spies and a plot similar to the Eiger Sanction or better yet Vertical Limit.
Slabby D

Trad climber
B'ham WA
Apr 29, 2013 - 06:19pm PT
...Jans comments strike me as incredibly biased but to each their own.

I certainly hope these guys don't apologize for trying to get to their tent. Nowhere in the world should stepping over a fixed line be punishable by stoning.

The romanticized image of the always noble and strong Sherpa seems like it needs some serious questioning. Plenty of money-grubbing as#@&%es in every culture.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 06:30pm PT
Snowmassguy-

It sounds like you're ready to write a prize winning novel!

You have to admit that Everest provides a good thread for this site every spring now.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Apr 29, 2013 - 06:36pm PT
Let us hope that Moro and Griffith make apologies

I can totally see it....

"Please excuse us for having the courage to hike up the mountain before you 'fix' the route for everyone. And for us having enough courage to step over your rope. We should have hiked half way around the mountain to avoid stepping over it. It was our fault you guys decided to threaten our life, throw rocks at our face, and beat us 100 vs 3. We will tip you well!"

Plenty of money-grubbing as#@&%es in every culture.

+1
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 06:44pm PT
I am defending the Sherpas because I know their culture and because there's no one else to defend them. I am not justifying violence. The Sherpa culture and religion is very pacifist so what I'm telling you is that if they resorted to violence there's a lot else going on that we don't know about, maybe involving the three climbers who set it off, maybe not. Since the three western climbers involved are all experienced in the Himalayas, and Moro in particular has a good reputation for rescues, it is especially puzzling that the three of them would breach climbing protocol like they did.

For 60 years, the rule on the mountain has been that no one interferes with the Sherpa teams who have the job of fixing the ropes, quite a few of whom have died doing that in the Khumbu icefall. Normal civilization involves following the rules and customs of the local people. If climbers don't want to play by those rules, they should go to a mountain without crowds of tourists and Sherpas. They have options and the Sherpas don't.

And I say it is up to the westerners involved to apologize first (the Sherpas will follow), as they initially caused the problem by breaking protocol, they caused a huge loss of face to the Sherpa sirdar by swearing at him which they know is important in that culture, and they're the ones who get to tell their side of the story on the internet and make money by writing it up in books, and they're the ones who have created distrust between the two groups on the mountains. Every westerner on Everest will now feel the results of what happened and lots of Sherpas once they're down from the mountain, and all for what? So three guys out of thousands could climb where they felt like on a given day?

The next time someone dies on Everest because the Sherpas refuse to do heroics anymore at the risk of their own lives, this incident should come to mind.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
As for mercenary cultures, climbing Sherpas who work on Everest make at best between $5,000 and $6,000 for risking their lives. For many that is 90-100% of their yearly income. A lot of the climbers pay five times that to be on the mountain and the profits go to western airlines and the western owners of the guide companies.

Every Sherpa has stories of extra money and gear they were promised to help a client down after that client refused their advice, went for the top and got in trouble. Every Sherpa has stories of the client disappearing or forgetting the conversation when they were back in base camp.

Not all Sherpas are good or western clients foolish and bad. If you study the history of Himalayan moutaineering starting back in the 1920's however, it is the Sherpas who have suffered the overwhelming amount of exploitation, not the westerners.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 07:26pm PT
And here's the best article so far along with the latest news.

http://www.adventure-journal.com/2013/04/violence-hits-mt-everest-as-sherpas-fight-with-ueli-steck-others/


In a statement released Monday on Steck’s website, the expedition said, “The three climbers feel that they don’t believe that their actions were the reasons behind such a mass attack. They believe that the reaction was from a far more deep rooted and long term problem, which is the way that Nepalis feel treated by westerners on the mountain and this was a uprising against that.”


Later Moro comes across as the better person of all involved.

In an interview with Planet Mountain, Moro said, “We’re abandoning the expedition…Despite having met those who attacked us, having embraced and having forgiven them, I wanted that the meeting with everyone at Base Camp ended with my words that underlined the esteem I have for the Sherpa and Nepal, but I also stated that this violence killed our climbing dream and that we are leaving. I will probably stay on, but only to fly the helicopter and carry out rescue operations, but Ueli and Jon will return home. I want to add that that fact that I wish to stay and help with rescues (free for the Sherpa people) shows my desire to help these people. Everyone here is shocked and aware of the violence that was committed, they realised that a simple handshake isn’t enough to change a relationship that has mutated too much since that one in 1953. Today Everest is too much of a business and there are too many heroes.”
klk

Trad climber
cali
Apr 29, 2013 - 07:35pm PT
If the free lancers were entirely self sufficient, that would be one thing but they're essentially dirt baggers using other people's work and equipment for free and then bragging how they got up Everest on their own.

given that this thread has been specifically about simone and ueli, that comment seems more than a bit sharp.

worse, it's the kind of thing some dumbass outsider journalist will seize on as a money quote.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
In a statement released Monday on Steck’s website, the expedition said, “The three climbers feel that they don’t believe that their actions were the reasons behind such a mass attack. They believe that the reaction was from a far more deep rooted and long term problem, which is the way that Nepalis feel treated by westerners on the mountain and this was a uprising against that.”
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Apr 29, 2013 - 07:56pm PT
Its a pity those crackers couldnt find another route to be elite on.
Everest has quite a few routes why crowd in? A real adventure could be had by leaving the yak routes to big business.
orangesporanges

Social climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
Jan: It would be reasonable to place an onus on the likes of AC and HIMEX to encourage Sherpa Guides employed by them to offer safe passage whilst working, to those moving faster and elegant.

Cultures aside. The spirit in which Ueli and Simon move is central to the best parts of human character. Which ought be respected by the Sherpa Guides who essentially, are there foremost for income motives.

Ueli especially, would be amongst the first to risk themselves to save others. And as has happened in the past, Ueli would refuse payment or compensation for such. Such selflessness is not always shared amongst those working for the guiding companies.

It's Ueli and Simone that deserve their due respect and an apology on behalf of the Sherpa Guide community
Gene

climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 08:11pm PT
Which ought be respected by the Sherpa Guides who essentially, are there foremost for income motives.


Aren't sponsored professional climbers also motivated by $$$. Climbing is what feeds them and their families, just like the Sherpa.

g
orangesporanges

Social climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
Gene: My money is that Ueli and Simone were for years, climbing foremost for the adventure. And will likely continue to do so long after their sponsorships end.

I am not sure, but howz about the majority of Sherpa Guides - what drew them to Everest?
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 08:40pm PT
At this point in time, Moro, Steck and Griffith have apologized to the Sherpa guides and the guides have apologized to them in a day long meeting with guides, expedition leaders, and Nepalese government officials in order to (I'm quoting Moro's website), "try to understand what happened".

As for money motivations, western people have many means of making money. The Sherpas live in a country where the per capita income is $300 a year and unemployment is above 50%. Their options are to climb or go to work in construction in the Gulf States, hardly a climate they are used to. Can you really blame them for earning a living at what they do best?

TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
Apr 29, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
I am suprised this kind of conflict is not more common.Perhaps it is, it just doesn't get the attention if it's not famous names involved.This was inevitable because of the larger and larger sums of money generated by massive commercial trips. Reilly is right, no crowds on K2. Few if any guided parties with massive support. The wide eyed wonder of doing it "because it's there" has been blinded by the money and the cottage industry that has been born into exsistance because of that money. In some ways it is ironic. They would not have had any issue on the SW face, West Ridge or North Face. But there would have been no one to "draft"as well. Hummm... TY
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 29, 2013 - 09:26pm PT
sooo what about Wool(ie) Stick?? No apologies from him? I fully suspect hes at the root of it.. After him and Messners TP stealing escapades over at "SOE", ya just cant trust em..
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 29, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
Nepal could probably rake in as much dough and reduce clusterphucking if they instituted a quota and permit lottery.

I see it as inevitable.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Apr 29, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
there would have been no one to "draft"as well. Hummm... TY

"drafting"? seriously?

you think u got something inside to share, go ahead and step up to the plate.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Apr 29, 2013 - 09:50pm PT
I am defending the Sherpas because I know their culture and because there's no one else to defend them. I am not justifying violence.

Oh I get it. You are not justifying violence, you are defending it. Pacifists don't attack you or throw rocks at you even if do kick their ego around. They not only proved that they are not pacifists, but also showed themselves as cowards - with own actions.

TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
Klk, what I meant was they would have prolly been alone. They would not have been precieved as "stepping"on the working sherpa's toes. As in they were not "paying customers" in that sence.Perhaps you read into my statement or miss understood. In any case, these incidents are ironic at the least. TY
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:30pm PT
I received an email today from a friend who leads treks in Nepal and is very in touch with what is happening in the Everest Area.

My friend passed on this email about recent events in Everest Base Camp:

while we were up there “7 Summits” showed up with 103 clients. ONE HUNDRED AND THREE. R U kidding?)
WOW!!!
orangesporanges

Social climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:45pm PT
Jan: Not wishing to dis the Sherpa Guides will to make money. While Ueli and Simone would be their for the pure awesome-human-spirit-of-adventure whether they were being paid or not. Would the Sherpa Guides approach be different if they weren't their for the coin? Perhaps, if they see themselves as part of the climbing community as well, why didn't they respect Ueli and Simone's elegant fair means approach.

Ueli and Simone have shown themselves to be of a higher standard - in the way they climb and in the way they have tried to mend bridges even after lesser men mobbed them so cruelly.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 11:02pm PT
Orangesporanges-

I think it's safe to say 95% of the Sherpas wouldn't be there if there was no money involved and they had another way to make a living. There are some Sherpas who also do it for the adventure and challenge but I don't think any of them feel themselves to be fully integrated into the international climbing community yet. There is just too much discrepancy in education and income. The Sherpas who are educated don't work in the mountains - they are pilots, doctors, and business people.

As for fair means approach, I just had the insight that a large part of the problem, adding insult to injury, was Ueli Steck fixing rope above where the Sherpas quit. He did this with the very best intentions of helping but this was seen as a further encroachment on Sherpa perogatives and livelihood.

Another insight involving the mob mentality is that this has become the norm in Nepal unfortunately, in the chaos of the past ten years of revolution and virtually no government. The only way people there see to get their grievances addressed is through mass actions whether strikes or riots. I would really appeal to the Sherpas to not go down that road, especially with westerners.

And yes, Ueli and Simone have shown themselves of a higher standard both in climbing and mending bridges though we have yet to hear from the heroic Sherpas and westerners who intervened with the mob. They too deserve credit. What comes to my mind is the old adage, to whom more is given, more is expected. It's always inspiring however, to see people live up to their best.
dave729

Trad climber
Western America
Apr 29, 2013 - 11:28pm PT
Probably a back story that will make it all understandable.
//
Episodes such as this deserve a double face palm.
//
Saying don't be killing the goose that lays the golden eggs or the Himalayan version there of.
//


Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 29, 2013 - 11:43pm PT
Here's the text of the agreement which was signed between the various parties after mediation by Nepalese Army officials.


Today, on 2070 Bhaishak 16 (April 29, 2013) at Everest base camp at SPCC office, with the presence of the Chief of Nepal Army team leader, Major Sunilsingh Rathor and the following attended personnels agreed to do the following decisions regarding the arguments between the two groups on April 27 while fixing ropes between camp 2 & camp 3.

1. On April 27 2013, above Everest Base Camp, at Camp 2 and Camp 3 an argument arose between foreign climbers and Nepali climbers and the situation was discussed today at this meeting. Both parties have realized their errors and apologized to each other in front of those present. Furthermore, both parties agreed to help each other in the future to make successful each others goals. It has also been decided that this issue will not be raised again.

2. All those present agreed and committed that such activities must never be repeated by anyone in mountaineering and in the tourism sector. If any party is dissatisfied with the actions of another party, they commit not to go into conflict or use violence against the other party. Instead they commit to report the actions to the government representatives or relevent government recognized association present at the base camps, to come to an amicable solution between the parties.

This was signed by Griffith, Steck, Moro, the managers of nine guide services, and Nepalese Army officers as well as fifteen Sherpas.


http://www.explorersweb.com/offsite/?source=http%3A%2F%2Ffeedproxy.google.com%2F~r%2FTheBlogOnAlanarnettecom%2F~3%2F04O9drIyR5E%2F&lang=en
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 29, 2013 - 11:48pm PT
great googily moogily... " We the undersigned here by swear not to act like dumbasses on the mtn"....
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 30, 2013 - 12:34am PT
... or to defecate on others' ropes.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 30, 2013 - 12:45am PT
Jan, really appreciate your voice in this.

Crazy stuff.

Sherpa in the Wasatch...
Sherpa in the Wasatch...
Credit: Brian in SLC
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Apr 30, 2013 - 02:01am PT
Another vote for Jan's posts with reference to this situation. Thanks Jan!!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 30, 2013 - 04:09am PT
+1 for Jan, again.

:0)

If I ever say I'm headed for Everest, somebody stab me in the eye with a javelin.

That mountain sounds more and more like exactly the opposite of all the reasons I started climbing.

Too bad the sherpas are stuck with all that greed, glory grabbing and monstrous mess on one mountain.
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 30, 2013 - 08:50am PT
As for fair means approach, I just had the insight that a large part of the problem, adding insult to injury, was Ueli Steck fixing rope above where the Sherpas quit. He did this with the very best intentions of helping but this was seen as a further encroachment on Sherpa perogatives and livelihood.

Yeah, as I understand it, Woo Li Steck offered to fix hunderds of meters of rope for the Sherpas, and I can imagine that in doing the fixing (their fixing) he committed some unintended form of hubris...

It's hard to imagine a more humble and levelheaded person than Ueli, methinks.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 30, 2013 - 09:08am PT
A few more details have come in from Chad Kellogg. It seems he and two others ("Rory and Damien") took Sherpas from their expedition and tried to fix a route up the Lhotse face the day before the altercation, far to the right of the normal route to try to avoid the rockfall the climb suffered last year. They spent all day at it only to be stopped by a 60 foot wide crevasse. They then retreated pulling thier ice screws and ropes. He remarks that their Sherpas and others in Camp 2 were very annoyed that a whole day had been "wasted" and no fixed ropes put up.

The next day Steck, Moro and Griffiths went up climbing to the left of the main group of Sherpas who are putting up the route in the normal place. From the Sherpa point of view, their work was hindered two days in a row by western climbers and their decisions. Worse than crossing lines and endangering people in case of a fall, Simone swore at the sirdar (I think it was erroneously reported earlier that it was Steck who did that). In any case, they were angrier at Simone and demanded he make an apology on his knees which he tried to do on two occasions only to be beaten and stoned. Kellogg claims only five or six Sherpas were actively involved in the aggression. Still, their actions are unbelievable for people who had not been drinking. With good reason, three of them were removed from the mountain. A sordid affair for sure.

Most reports seem to be blaming the western climbers for interfering with the Sherpas. Of course they have a vested interest in this because they wish to separate themselves from the subjects of Sherpa anger and keep good relations in the hope of a summit. Meanwhile, everyone is shocked and saddened at the breach in relations between climbers and Sherpas and pondering underlying reasons.

http://www.humanedgetech.com/expedition/kellogg7/
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 30, 2013 - 09:45am PT
I say welcome
welcome to the Boomtown



You kaynt judge events from 10,000 miles away. Period. What happens on Everest happens on Everest. In the great splurge of humanity, sh#t happens on a regular basis.

I know this? Working men get grumpy when they have to risk their lives for seemingly uncaring clients. You know I don't blame them - they want to collect a paycheck and see their families at the end of the expedition.

DMT
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Apr 30, 2013 - 09:51am PT
Time for the Sherpas to go on strike!

Tough work, to be sure.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Apr 30, 2013 - 09:51am PT
Men at work vs men at play...
How about some really bad weather for the teams
on Everest now just to put it in perspective!
Ben Harland

Gym climber
Kenora, ON
Apr 30, 2013 - 10:23am PT
UKC News has posted a letter from Jon Griffith
http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68025

Dear UKC,

We, at Base Camp, have been following the posts made and thank you for your restraint. I realise that it is a one sided argument but this is a very complicated situation. As people have mentioned the Sherpas have a long history of very kind, hard working, pacifists. It is my first time to Nepal but Ueli and Simone have been here for many years. Ueli for example climbed Everest last year with Sherpa Tenji as a climbing partner not as a Sherpa. Sherpa Tenji was booted out from a commercial expedition last year, as it was decided that he wasn't needed, and Ueli offered to climb together with him as Tenji's aim had always been to summit Everest without oxygen. I am also glad to say that Sherpa Tenji was part of our team this year. Simone has done 43 trips to Nepal and his relationship with Sherpas stretches way back. If you talk to Sherpas at Base Camp they having nothing but good things to say about him. He has a rescue helicopter out here and even offers free rescue service to all Sherpas and Porters on the mountain. So I think both Ueli and Simone have a long history of respect and friendship with the Sherpas.

The Press Release is, hand on heart, exactly what happened on the day. I wrote it. But as many have noted the reaction was not because of our actions but because of a deeper rooted problem. I realise that when you see the reaction from the Sherpas that it is natural to think that we did something terrible that we are not saying, but honestly this was not the case. The only reason given from the lead Sherpa was that we knocked ice down but I honestly cannot imagine this happened, the fact that no Sherpa has come forward with any injuries does back us up some what. I accept that our presence on the mountain may have stressed the Sherpas out but statements that we were told not to climb that day are total fabrications. We were asked by a IMG guide to not clip in to the ropes and naturally we did not do so. We kept far away from them when ascending - the Lhotse Face is immense. Please understand that any anonymous eyewitness reports from Camp 2 are ludicrous. The fact that they are anonymous and most importantly that Camp 2 is located miles away from the Lhotse Face makes any 'eyewitness' report a bit unrealistic (I'm a photographer and even my most powerful lenses wouldn't let me see that well). The fact that this anonymous source said we then walked back through Camp is proof of the lies as there was no chance we walked back through Camp. We were shitting ourselves, the idea of walking through Camp was suicidal. We tracked straight over towards Nuptse and headed down an unbelievably crevassed glacier with no tracks and no ropes. At times we were crawling. As dangerous as this was it actually seemed like a haven of safety compared to Camp 2.

I understand that we will all come out of this looking bad. It is natural. But in the end everyone looks bad from this incident. The few bad apples reflect very badly on the Sherpa community and they are very aware of this. The ring leaders are actually about 30 metres away from our camp. There are no police here. But we feel safe because the whole Nepalese Community at Base Camp are outraged by what happened and are acting as the local police. However this is a hugely delicate and complicated problem. We had a ceremony yesterday where we all talked publicly about what happened and that the reaction we incurred from the Sherpas was something that the Commercial Teams and the Everest Community as a whole had to deal with. It was not entirely due to our actions. We were the tip of the iceberg and we have talked with the ring leader about this. As such we are not taking legal action but leaving it in the hands of the community to find a suitable 'disciplinary action' (as they call it). They see this as a very major underlying problem and something that has to be dealt with before it happens again. Simply throwing them in jail will cause a riot, it is important to find the right balance where the Sherpas are able to voice their problems and concerns to the community and the old 'respect' between client and Sherpa and vice versa is re-established. For the moment the Sherpas feel used and that they are not treated with respect by their Western clients.

For us our trip is over. The Nepalese were hoping we would all shake hands and continue with our trip and this will all be swept under the carpet. We didn't really see this as reality. It was the most harrowing experience of our lives and there is no way we feel safe up the mountain anymore. Ueli is a man I have known and climbed with for many years. I have never seen him like this before, and this is a man who doesn't live life in the safety zone. He has lost all trust in the Sherpa community and has barely slept since the incident. I can see in him that part of him has been destroyed and will take a long time to heal.

As a final comment. A very influential character (sorry no names right now) has asked the Ministry of Tourism to have written on every permit that climbers are not allowed to climb before the fixing team. If this happens it means the only way you can climb Everest is by climbing in a nice big track and on fixed lines with tons of people. It also means that any teams who want to climb something (in alpine style) apart from the Normal Route will not be able to acclimatise in advance before their ascent. It is insane, but it shows the attitude towards this mountain.

If any of the above is a bit confusing then please realise that things are pretty manic right now. I've slept very little in the last few days. But I felt it was important to write and answer some of the questions raised by your comments.

Jon Griffith
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Apr 30, 2013 - 10:47am PT
From

Uli said that he was confronted by the mob and was immediately hit in the head by a fist followed by a rock to the head. Melissa pushed Uli into the kitchen tent to protect him from the mob. The Sherpa men would not hit a woman so she was the buffer of protection from the very angry mob. Since it was too hard to figure out what was happening to Simone and Jonathan, Melissa sent a Sherpa from Simone's camp to get he and Jonathan from the glacier. They were secretly ushered into the same kitchen tent as Uli and buffered from the mob by Melissa and the head of Camp 2 for IMG. The men promised that if Simone came out on his knees and begged for forgiveness he would not be hurt. Simone tried to get out of the tent on his knees when he was beaten and forced back inside. Awhile later Melissa asked Simone to get back on his knees outside the tent and ask for forgiveness again. She had been assured by the instigaters that he would not be hurt. So Simone got on his knees to ask for forgiveness and was kicked under the chin, someone tried to stab him with a pen knife, but fortunately the knife hit him in the padded belt of his backpack.

Marty Schmidt recalled when I talked with him at Camp 2 that he saw a man getting ready to bring a large rock down on Simone's head to kill him. Marty grabbed the rock and the mans arm and shouted “no, no violence.” For his intervention he received a rock to the head himself. Marty was still wearing the bandage on his head when I spoke with him.

Wow. Pieces of sh#t those people...
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 30, 2013 - 10:59am PT
Looks like gun packing shall be next for the big E!
Deekaid

climber
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:14am PT
Man, pretty psycho! Sounds like Uli has a bit of PTSD. My own borderline APD wouldn't allow me to rest either. Revenge would be my lifes' work. Served very cold.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:25am PT
Looks like gun packing shall be next for the big E!

Sleds Over Everest team packed 15 shotguns and a few machine guys for that reason. Dealing with angry mobs and eating lobsters. Life is good!
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:39am PT
Hey Vitaliy: throwing this fat on the fire isn't going to do anything to calm the situation. Probably too many lobsters up there is part of the problem.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:52am PT
We at "SOE" used bribes to ensure safety and satisfaction amongst the crew. Lobster, tequilla, corn, even some fried condor. Then there is the free T shirt and gri gri 2 that each Sherpa received,, and of course,, the HOOVER-ROUND chair races and jumping at base camp 1 and 2 keep them mega entertained. Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word,, and the skies are all snowy alllll dayyyyy!
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 30, 2013 - 11:55am PT
I want to change this thread's title to: "Too many lobsters up there"
WBraun

climber
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:55am PT
It's a "False Flag" to get your ropes, crampons, ladders and ice axes.

Glen Beck and Alex Jones will soon appear to tell you how this event went about ......
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Apr 30, 2013 - 12:29pm PT
This is worse than Peru. Although Aconcagua is apparently also a tourist scene.

Credit: Don Paul
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Apr 30, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
I hope the Nepalis have another way to make a decent living, because they've just killed their climbing income stream.

philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Apr 30, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
This whole debacle makes me sad.
PeteC

climber
Apr 30, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
Is it just me or does this photo of the letter and accompanying article make it seem like the folks on Everest are functioning at a kindergarten level?

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/30/world/asia/nepal-everest-fight/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

I think in Hindi that says "If anyone tries to crush someone's head with a rock, they will be put in "Time Out" and be denied dessert".
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 30, 2013 - 12:59pm PT
This whole debacle makes me sad.

I bet Sir Edmund is even sadder.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Apr 30, 2013 - 01:00pm PT
Alex Jones will soon appear to tell you how this event went about ......

It was part of New World Order's plan to prevent Sleds Over Everest to reach the peak. SOE don't care.
neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Apr 30, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
Yaks and lobster is the only way to roll....
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 30, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
Truth be told, an insufficient number of lobsters is actually what led to the whole conflict.

Too many lobsters for the westerners, not enough lobster for Sherpas. It's an old problem that they're getting "fed" up with.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Apr 30, 2013 - 01:23pm PT
http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/Sherpa_fight_ends_climber_s_Everest_ambitions_.html?cid=35670568

ueli's interview with si
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 30, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
Camps way to far apart over on that side..

We here at "SOE" firmly believe that more camps, less climbing between and quality cuisine ensure the CHI to be favorable.

Our "SLED" sherpas are also relieved after 191' of altitude gain, as to not over-stress any one "SLED" sherpa. Its the small things, so critical to success that are often over looked..
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Apr 30, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
This is just the beginning.

The TEAMSTERS are planning a membership drive in the Khumbu Region for next week !
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 30, 2013 - 01:35pm PT
I guess its safe to say there aint much KHUMB-by-yaya goin on over-der..


But at least with EULI-WOOL Stick gone, our TP supply at "SOE" is safe now.
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 30, 2013 - 02:02pm PT
FACT: Lobsters have blue blood. Snails do too, but there's no lack of them up there.
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 30, 2013 - 02:06pm PT
Wool Stick is quoted as saying:

... we felt guilty for being responsible for them having stopped their work for commercial expeditions. That is why we finished their work. But maybe it made things worse.


:/

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/Sherpa_fight_ends_climber_s_Everest_ambitions_.html?cid=35670568
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 30, 2013 - 02:10pm PT
Climbig shouldn't be considered 'work'.
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
Apr 30, 2013 - 02:14pm PT
The Western climbers seem to be in full damage control mode. Would love to hear from some of the Sherpas because I have trouble believing the story as told.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Apr 30, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
while we were up there “7 Summits” showed up with 103 clients. ONE HUNDRED AND THREE. R U kidding?)
WOW!!!

That's a circus for sure!
TwistedCrank

climber
Dingleberry Gulch, Ideeho
Apr 30, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
Where is this "Everest" so many people speak of?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 30, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
Accomplished climbers should get over the "number" of the height and go elsewhere. SO MANY more impressive faces out there.

Leave that beautiful shitpile to the Sherpas that need a living and to the mooing, braying conga lines of Doctors and Lawyers.
harryhotdog

Social climber
north vancouver, B.C.
Apr 30, 2013 - 02:42pm PT
Simone and Jonathan managed to run away but I was not fast enough (I am getting slow and old.
from Uli Steck's Swiss report, slow and old eh,ok!
crunch

Social climber
CO
Apr 30, 2013 - 02:54pm PT
Steck's interview is great reading. Ties in with Jan's points about a slow build up of discontent. The mob that threatened to kill Steck is total nightmare material.

Though he, too, was there as a career move, to make money.

What a mess.

Hopefully they'll discover some rich tar sand deposits up near the Hillary Step, remove a couple thousand feet from the top....bring it down to size....

John Butler

Social climber
SLC, Utah
Apr 30, 2013 - 04:02pm PT
"Sherpa" response via another western guide here:

http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2013/04/30/everest-2013-the-sherpas-viewpoint/

I think maybe they just need a fence, a gate, a line, and a fastpass system like Disneyland.

:-)
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Apr 30, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
Let it snow
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 30, 2013 - 04:07pm PT
What has gone on up on the mountain yesterday has lowered moral here at EBC. Mountains have no place for egos, you see it time and time again, eventually a price is paid.

Mountains have no place for egos, mountains have no place for egos, mountains have no place for egos....

Wow.

Edit:
Quite the write-up. Certainly sounds as if Simone had it coming in that account.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 30, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
And finally, the Sherpa point of view from a westerner who was there.

Here is an account written by Garrett Madison, the long time expedition leader for Alpine Ascents (AAI) in an email to Alan Arnette. His email started with the following introduction:

I have attached a short piece I wrote today about the fight at camp 2. I fully stand behind this piece, and recognize that I will be taking a position that may be unpopular at this time.


Fight at Camp 2 on Everest

As this story has emerged in the media it has become clear that the Sherpas have not been given a voice. The press releases, the blogging, and reports from the European climbers have dominated the headlines. Meanwhile the Sherpa are quietly continuing to fix the rope and continue their work at nearly 8000 meters on Everest. These Sherpa help realize the dream of many western climbers and will continue to be honored and respected by the foreign climbers who climb with them on Everest.

I have pieced together an objective version of events different from what is currently in the media headlines. These details are directly from what I heard on the radio on April 27th, my discussions with many people in base camp over the last 2 days including expedition leaders, western guides, and clients who were at Camp 2 during this incident, and Sirdars (head Sherpa) who directly supervise the fixing team.

On April 18th, 2013:

All expedition leaders and Sherpa Sirdars were invited and attended a meeting in Everest base camp to discuss the rope fixing strategy for this season on Everest. At this meeting everyone had a chance to suggest the best strategy and route to safely climb the mountain. The meeting concluded with the nomination of fixing Sherpas (the best available) and the suitable dates to complete the work. It was also agreed at the meeting by all the expedition leaders that nobody would be climbing on the route on these dates except the fixing team. That while these young men were working to fix the route for all expeditions at base camp, no expedition would disrupt or create a distraction for them. Unfortunately, Simone Moro did not attend this meeting, and might not have been aware that this protocol is an unwritten rule on Everest.

Over the next few days all the teams at base camp pitched in and Sherpas carried over 50 loads through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 2. The fixing started on April 26th, for 2 days the Sherpa were scouting the best route on the Lhotse face and by the 27th they were less than an hour from reaching camp 3.

The 3 European climbers set out the morning of the 27th heading for the Lhotse face. After suggestions from both guides and Sherpa at Camp 2 and below the Lhotse face to turn around, because fixing the Lhotse face demands strict concentration, the 3 climbers continued on to the Lhotse face moving up and to the left of the fixing route. The 3 climbers moved alpine style up the Lhotse face and were headed towards their camp (just below camp 3 on the Lhotse face).

At this time the Sherpa fixing team were working on the Lhotse Face and have reached one of the steeper & more exposed areas. The temperature was dropping and the winds were picking up. As the fixing team was moving through a steeper section of the Lhotse face, the 3 European climbers met with the fixing team. The fixing team alerted the 3 climbers to not touch or cross the rope. This is a high intensity environment where people’s instincts are at a heightened state. The lead fixing Sherpa spoke with one of the 3 climbers at which point physical contact was made, at that point Simone came in verbal contact with a number of the fixing team who had now congregated at one of the anchors to secure themselves from sliding down the face.

Simone began to shout, many of the words in Nepali language, and many of the words were inflammatory. At this point the fixing team made the correct decision to drop their loads of rope and hardware, attaching them to the installed line, and descend without any further interaction or confrontation with the 3 climbers. The fixing team descended to camp 2 and went to their respective camps as a number of expedition teams work together to fix the route on Mt. Everest. As the fixing team descended to camp 2, Simone radioed down requesting to know what the Sherpa were talking about. At one point Simone stated over open radio frequency (fixing frequency-tuned in by all the fixing teams and anyone listening on the mountain) that if the Sherpa had a problem he could come down to Camp 2 soon and “f—ing fight”.

As Simone returned back to Camp 2 he again spoke over the fixing frequency a demand to speak with the fixing team comprised of 16 Sherpa (of 8 different teams) back at camp 2. He explained that he would meet them at one of the expedition camps. When he arrived in Camp 2 he went to his tent. At this point some western guides went to Simone’s camp to explain that he should apologize for the situation his team created during a very dangerous workday. As the western guides spoke to Simone, Sherpas from many different teams congregated as a result of his radio call from the Lhotse face and wanted to speak with Simone and get an apology and to explain to him how difficult their job had been that day. The Sherpas who were together felt that Simone’s words and interactions were both hurtful to the individuals, as well as grave and serious insults to the entire Sherpa community. As the Sherpas approached Simone’s camp tensions were high and they wanted to have a discussion with an already angered Simone. Then Simone came out to talk and both sides approached each other in loud discussion at which point a careless western climber who had not been involved up on the Lhotse face arrived and entangled physically with a Sherpa. This was the ignition for what ensued next. It is safe to say that the Sherpa thought this western climber was part of Simone’s team and had initiated a dangerous confrontation. At this point the Sherpa felt as if they needed to defend themselves as they had just seen one of their colleagues attacked. The tense situation ignited and a brawl ensued.

The brawl was stopped by a group of western climbers and Sherpa working together. Simone’s team was protected by both a Sherpa group and a few western climbers and guides. As the group separated, Simone requested to apologize for his actions. After things calmed down, Simone’s team descended to base camp. The following day, April 28th, was peaceful.

April 29th:

To Simone’s credit he did not want to leave Everest until he had a chance to make peace with the furious Sherpas. The Sherpa met in base camp and discussed peacefully the events of the fixing day (April 27th), and both parties recognized the errors in what they said and did, and apologized to each other. Simone reiterated his respect for the Sherpas and for the work they do and both sides agreed to work together in the future to make sure something like this never happens again.

The Sherpa community understands this unfortunate and avoidable situation was unacceptable. The Sirdars have committed to educate these hard working young men about handling the stresses of a very intense job.

In climbing the Nepalese side of Mt. Everest, all the teams collaborate in working together to ultimately achieve a mutual goal, to reach the top of Mt. Everest safely and the Sherpa are a major part of this goal. The first summit of Everest in 1953 was Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, a foreigner and a Nepalese Sherpa. The first American ascent in 1963 was Jim Whittaker and Nawang Gombu Sherpa, also a foreigner and a Sherpa.

I sincerely hope that this incident does not damage how the Sherpas perceive the foreigners who come to climb on their mountain. We aim to uphold the spirit of climbing together to accomplish our common goals and to respect one another throughout our mountaineering endeavors.

http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2013/04/30/everest-2013-the-sherpas-viewpoint/
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Apr 30, 2013 - 05:06pm PT
It's funny we use to have fist fights in Camp 4 before the internet and no one cared.

No more. New generation of climbers are pussies. Removing lightning bolts in the middle of the night...than blog about it. Pretty much sums it up....
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
Apr 30, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
The scenario this Sherpa describes is how I pictured events unfolding. As if Everest needed to be any more of a spectacle.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 30, 2013 - 05:19pm PT
I would love to know the history of the Chamonix guide service. I'll bet there were similar incidents as they organized themselves for the monopoly they have. You can bet if someone trampled over a guide and his client on a route around there, there would be repercussions including from the local gendarmerie.

In any case, the message is clear. The southside of Everest is for tourists and Sherpas, and alpinists wanting to do another style should choose another route, on one of the other sides of the mountain or choose another mountain.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Apr 30, 2013 - 05:53pm PT
there would be repercussions including from the local gendarmerie.

Yup, with stonings, death threats, and whole nine yards. Guides in Cham are savagez.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 30, 2013 - 06:22pm PT
As if Everest wasn't any MORE of a buzzkill.

Coz is right. Last time I fought without weapons was in C4 in '76, but those boyz all gots axes!
Could've been worse. Just ask Trotsky.
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Apr 30, 2013 - 07:23pm PT
Were there peculiar issues pricipitating the brawling in Camp 4...or just generic pride and drink ??

Other than routine melee with Jackson cowboys...the only Teton climber skirmishing I've heard about, from that era, were the Hemming/Lowe scuffle and some discord provoked by the Vulgarians...

??
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 30, 2013 - 07:30pm PT
Ah piss on em!

DMT
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 30, 2013 - 07:51pm PT
hillary step--2012..
hillary step--2012..
Credit: Ron Anderson


We at "SOE" are completely surprised their isnt MORE of these incidents..

Just look at the CLUSTER FECK of people at the Hillary step above! Could you imgagine such a thing on any Sierra peak youve been on? That woulda made ol Norman Clyde break out the extra cylinder to his pistola!
micronut

Trad climber
Apr 30, 2013 - 08:25pm PT
Jonathan Griffith is on NPR right now. Nice interview. Check it out on All Things Considered.
PeteC

climber
Apr 30, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
The Sherpa version of things posted above is exquisite bullsh#t. If there are 100 people throwing rocks against 3 that is not a "brawl".
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Apr 30, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
Camp 2, the location of the "brawl" is at 21,325 Ft.

Maybe a new record for world's highest mob scene?

Another first for Everest!
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 30, 2013 - 08:59pm PT

Then Simone came out to talk and both sides approached each other in loud discussion at which point a careless western climber who had not been involved up on the Lhotse face arrived and entangled physically with a Sherpa. This was the ignition for what ensued next.

I'd like to know who this westerner was and why he wasn't named. Tourist, guide or guide service employee and for whom?

As for brawls and mobs, there's a basic difference between individual oriented societies and tribal societies. That's a large part of the misunderstanding here. Madison clearly operates on group principles while in Nepal and on the mountain, perhaps in all of life.

As for Chamonix guides throwing stones at Brits a hundred years ago, I can certainly imagine it.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Apr 30, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
Yeah, well, rock guiding in the 1980's Scott, did have a lot of "The professionals are here" attitude and laziness about polluting already popular cliffs with top ropes on every available route.

The guiding industry got a lesson in what public property meant back then.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Apr 30, 2013 - 09:43pm PT
No sh#t Ron! nice shot, i just want to punch one of those people, just one.
thank god during my Everest holidays it was more wilderness
trips with few people about. i guess i was lucky.
im more surprised at these top athletic superduper sponser guys would be on the yak route.
obviously convienent acclimatization for a big project.
There is not any rescue or wifi on the east face.
the back side of Everest
the back side of Everest
Credit: Paul Teare
abrams

Sport climber
Apr 30, 2013 - 10:02pm PT
Ladders all over Everest but for some reason none on the Hillary Step?

Sherpa interested in money but does not solve a critical bottleneck which is arguably stealing over a million bucks a day out of their pockets?









Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 30, 2013 - 10:06pm PT
Credit: Ron Anderson

Yes we had that all worked out for em last year.. They should view ST,, we could make them filthy rich!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Apr 30, 2013 - 10:40pm PT
I would love to know the history of the Chamonix guide service. I'll bet there were similar incidents as they organized themselves for the monopoly they have. You can bet if someone trampled over a guide and his client on a route around there, there would be repercussions including from the local gendarmerie.

Chaubet's Histoire de la compagnie des guides de Chamonix, is the standard history. Francoise Loux's ethnographic work on the 20th century is a useful supplement.

But no, there don't seem to have been similar moments during the organization of guides in the Alps. (The Savoyard guides were organized in the early 19th century, but by the post-Napoleonic state. They were under the direction of the commun Syndic.)

Whymper's claim that the Taugwalders hoped to kill him during the descent of the Matterhorn (after the rope had broken), was really shocking in the 1860s.

Rope-crossing and racing up parallel pitches, climbing through or over the ropes of competing parties, and so on, seem pretty common now in many parts of the Alps I've visited. That's part of what seems to be at issue, here, namely whether something like alpine climbing can happen out of the Kuhmbu Valley or whether it will be strictly commercial, platform expedition climbing. WHile would-be alpinists of the future wait for China to finish opening up the north side, with all the unhappiness that could include.

On the other hand, the constant threat of violence (usually of Sahibs against non-European locals) has long been a part of European imperial adventures including the early mountaineering expeditions (into the 20th century). And Native or indigenous guides abandoning or misleading or otherwise undercutting expeditions in polar and arctic regions are pretty common in the literature of the 19th centuries and earlier. But I don't know of any other examples of a commercially organized guide outfit assaulting or threatening to kill "clients" for whatever transgressions.

Whatever happened up there, it seems brutally clear that it wasn't the sort of Camp 4 fistfight that Coz is conjuring up out of the golden haze of memory.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 30, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
They used to bugger each other in those cold stony alpine huts. And they still do.

DMT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Apr 30, 2013 - 10:55pm PT
How long till something like this happens on a route like the nose, Colo ice, or Hawaiian waves....
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Apr 30, 2013 - 10:58pm PT
KLK,

I thought the Golden Haze of Yosemite was a few generations ago. Are you claiming it is actually routed in historical relativism ?

How ya doin' man ??? I hope all is well !!!
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:07pm PT
Madison' version sounds like bullsh#t. I'm not completely buying the Steck trio's version, but Madison's is not believable.

OK, superclimbers and tradesmen don't mix. I'm not interested in Honnald's thrill at passing bivying climbers. But, there's no evidence Steck is that immature. Simone may be a dick, but the Sherpa's f*#ked up.

Too much $$ exchanging hands on the South Col for this not to be resolved. Maybe something good will come of it.

because fixing the Lhotse face demands strict concentration, the 3 climbers continued on to the Lhotse face moving up and to the left of the fixing route

Yeah, Ulli doesn't know anything about climbing that demands script concentration.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:09pm PT
hi jim-- pm sent
MisterE

Social climber
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:20pm PT
All them sherpas should get 50 smacks with a wool stick...
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:28pm PT
What a crazy story.

So...nobody is allowed on the Nepalese side until the Sherpa's have fixed ropes.

On a mountain as big as Everest, they got so mad at three of the world's best climbers crossing their fixed lines, doing nothing more than being there, because now it is nothing but guided climbers. A huge mountain like that, and no room for anyone else to even be there. Then they are stoned and had their lives threatened.

Steck and partners need to go somewhere else. Everest is now officially ruined.

I read all of the comments on one of those blogs. It was pretty f*#king pitiful.
WTF

climber
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:37pm PT
My people are currently humping in the last loads of the CAGE.

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Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 30, 2013 - 11:37pm PT
Thanks klk, for the references and perspective. That is the first time I have heard that Whymper thought the Tauwalters wanted to kill him. I think a big part of the more orderly development in the Alps had to do with strong central governments and well developed legal systems which are totally lacking in Nepal.

Whatever system is worked out for the future, it will depend on the Sherpas and we assume the western guide companies, coming up with the solutions since the Nepalese government has been non functional for many years now with the promise of more of the same (four years for a Constituent Assembly to draft a new non monarchial constitution at which they totally failed, new elections to be held for another such assembly and no guarantee of better results). The judicial system seems to have the most integrity of Nepalese national institutions, so perhaps changing the law or at least the regulations is the route to go.

One thing the Sherpas are unhappy about is the low level of mandatory life insurance, particularly when they see the wealth of the people they risk their lives for. It seems to me it would be a simple process to increase the amount.
hamersorethumb

Trad climber
Menlo Park, CA
May 1, 2013 - 12:10am PT
Here is another informative article representing the Sherpa's side of the interaction.

http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2013/04/30/everest-2013-the-sherpas-viewpoint/
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 1, 2013 - 12:15am PT
The excerpts from Garrett Madison I posted were taken from Alan Arnette's web page.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 1, 2013 - 12:25am PT
At this point Nepal should just do the right thing for them. Kick ALL The goofy ass guides outta Nepal and let the Nepalese govt and the sherpas take that side over 100%.. No more greedy azzholes trucking in buses full of mountain booted look at me 5%-ers.. Let the Sherpas be the guides, and the organizers. Let them make the money.. Its THEIR turf.. Boot out all non-Nepalese --Bu-bye..addios.. Sianara. Kerput..

can you imagine the stench that is the ground below base camp these days??
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 1, 2013 - 12:53am PT
Ron, I think the whole enterprise will eventually end up in Sherpa hands just as the Chamonix guide service only allows locals. It might take another generation however. And it would really help if Nepal had a more functional government.

Meanwhile, everyone at base camp now has to use latrines that empty into big plastic containers which are flown out to Kathmandu for proper disposal.
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
May 1, 2013 - 01:02am PT
"Marty Schmidt recalled when I talked with him at Camp 2 that he saw a man getting ready to bring a large rock down on Simone's head to kill him. Marty grabbed the rock and the mans arm and shouted “no, no violence.” For his intervention he received a rock to the head himself. Marty was still wearing the bandage on his head when I spoke with him."

Wow. I know Marty. He always talked about respecting these sherpas. Not much respect to be had in a mob...in any situation or country. F*#k that place sideways.
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
May 1, 2013 - 01:43am PT
"So...nobody is allowed on the Nepalese side until the Sherpa's have fixed ropes.

On a mountain as big as Everest, they got so mad at three of the world's best climbers crossing their fixed lines, doing nothing more than being there, because now it is nothing but guided climbers. A huge mountain like that, and no room for anyone else to even be there. Then they are stoned and had their lives threatened.

Steck and partners need to go somewhere else. Everest is now officially ruined."

BASE104 I tend to agree. And Ueli definitely does as he's said he'll never return to Everest after this incident.

It's disturbing about the claim that after this the Nepalese government will only allow climbing permits AFTER the sherpas have gone up to do the fixed lines. No more fair means or true alpinism ascents on that side. It's for the $75K mountain tourists only to be hauled up the mountain by guiding operations.
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
May 1, 2013 - 08:39am PT
I honestly don't understand why anyone bothers with Everest now. Such a pile of B.S.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
May 1, 2013 - 09:00am PT
I honestly don't understand why anyone bothers with Everest now. Such a pile of B.S.


Ditto that Tim. It boggles the mind. I seriously do not understand why anyone goes near that mountain any more. There are 1000's of other amazing mountains to climb.

I've got a friend who was there during this whole ordeal. The emails I'm getting make it clear there's a lot of mis-information floating around locally. Personally I don't think there's ever a justification for violence and death-threats regardless of what cultural and etiquette taboos were crossed. The whole situation is totally f*#ked up.

On a side note.. yeah.. why don't they put some ladders up the Hillary Step? They have no problem fixing ladders and ropes all over the rest of the damn mountain. If they want to pull the "safety" card why hold back at the Step?
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
May 1, 2013 - 09:05am PT
On a side note.. yeah.. why don't they put some ladders up the Hillary Step?

Just a guess, but perhaps because the Step is so high in elevation?

Or are there other ladders at a near or similar elevation I don't know about?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
May 1, 2013 - 09:06am PT
On a mountain as big as Everest, they got so mad at three of the world's best climbers crossing their fixed lines, doing nothing more than being there, because now it is nothing but guided climbers. A huge mountain like that, and no room for anyone else to even be there. Then they are stoned and had their lives threatened.

Steck and partners need to go somewhere else. Everest is now officially ruined.

Does being '3 of the best' somehow absolve sins lesser climbers would have to own up to?

And it DOES boggle the mind that on such a BIG MOUNTAIN, 3 of THE BEST had to step over a fixed line while the Linemen were up there working on it. Yes Everest is ruined.

Sheesh.

DMT
TwistedCrank

climber
Dingleberry Gulch, Ideeho
May 1, 2013 - 09:11am PT
Credit: TwistedCrank
It's crowded. People fight when it gets crowded. Human nature. Natural causes.
Alan Rubin

climber
Amherst,MA.
May 1, 2013 - 09:11am PT
I've been trying to stay away from this one, but maybe I can add a bit to the discussion by klk and others regarding the comparison of the history of European guiding and the cuurrent situation on Everest. I am aware of one quite well-known example of relatively modern European fisticuffs over "guiding rights" and I have no doubt that there are others that have been forgotten--or purposefully covered up. The example I recall is the "pitch battle" between some Scots from the Creag Dhu club and the local guides (I think it was in Cham, but possibly Zermatt) that occurred when the locals thought (probably correctly) that the Scots were conducting some "under the table" guiding. Even today the rudeness of certain guides bulling their way through parties of other climbers has led to certain minor incidents---I was almost pushed off an easy ridge on the Midi in one such encounter (not intentionally).

klk also says that he isn't aware of any incidents of threats or violence amongst western guides in the Himilaya, but I have dim memories of some pretty sordid goings on involving a South African expedition to Everest a number of years ago, and also one (possibly the same incident)involving a well-known British guide also a few years ago. And, though a different category, there are plenty of stories of quite dramatic--and sometimes violent--internal incidents on any number of non-commercial Himalayan expeditions
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
May 1, 2013 - 09:29am PT
Jonathan Griffith is on NPR right now. Nice interview. Check it out on All Things Considered.

Link to podcast...

http://www.npr.org/2013/04/30/180116787/everest-fight-reveals-cultural-chasm-between-climbers-sherpas
klk

Trad climber
cali
May 1, 2013 - 09:53am PT
klk also says that he isn't aware of any incidents of threats or violence amongst western guides in the Himilaya, but I have dim memories of some pretty sordid goings on involving a South African expedition to Everest a number of years ago, and also one (possibly the same incident)involving a well-known British guide also a few years ago. And, though a different category, there are plenty of stories of quite dramatic--and sometimes violent--internal incidents on any number of non-commercial Himalayan expeditions

Perhaps I was unclear-- I am not saying there are no historical examples of violence over routes or guiding in european contexts. A big chunk of ww1 was fought out along the Dolos.

Jan suggested that there had possibly been incidents similar to the current event during the organization of the Chamonix guides. But there don't appear to be any remotely similar incidents in the formation of the guide organizations in the western Alps. That's not entirely surprising, as the context was so different. As Chaubet points out, the organization began in the very early 19th century and was well formalized by the 1820s.

There is, on the other hand, a long tradition of local resistance in imperial contexts, and many of those in the British imperial context are quite famous. Whippings or threats of whippings, and various other kinds of conflict appear to have been at least occasional features of British expeditions, especially, as late as the early 1920s. Porter strikes became something of a ritual.

It would be ridiculous for anyone to suggest that there's never been any incidents of violence or threats between guides and clients, or guides and guides, or whatever, in the Alps or elsewhere. Even on a simple statistical basis, such a claim would be unlikely. But it also doesn't appear sound to suggest that this particular incident is just like jillions of others that have happened in Camp 4 or Cham or, for that matter, on Everest.

I'm not a historian of Everest-- I don't read Mandarin nor do I speak any of the local languages, much less the dialects. Of course, no one who writes on Everest seems to have any basic linguistic competence-- serious historical scholarship on that part of Asia is exceedingly thin.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
May 1, 2013 - 09:53am PT
have you ever felt used?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
May 1, 2013 - 09:55am PT
... like an inverted condom!!!1111

DMT
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 1, 2013 - 10:25am PT
Clash of cultures reached the boiling point. Westerner's climbing for recreation while they risk their lives to avoid a life of poverty. It was bound to happen.

Sounds like the Sherpa's didn't like "uppity" superclimber's showing them up. They're used to 7 Summit Seekers slogging up fixed ropes. A few of them need to end up in court.

That said, this would have been avoided if the Steck group stayed clear of the fixed ropes. Can't imagine with their skill they couldn't have cruised by 100 yards away and been gone.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 1, 2013 - 10:51am PT
For serious historical scholarship on the Sherpas and mountaineering, see Sherri Ortner's book, Life and Death on Mt. Everest: Sherpas and Mountaineering.

Ortner is fluent in the Sherpa language.

The Sherpas were dead, two more victims of an attempt to scale Mt. Everest. Members of a French climbing expedition, sensitive perhaps about leaving the bodies where they could not be recovered, rolled them off a steep mountain face. One body, however, crashed to a stop near Sherpas on a separate expedition far below. They stared at the frozen corpse, stunned. They said nothing, but an American climber observing the scene interpreted their thoughts: Nobody would throw the body of a white climber off Mt. Everest.

For more than a century, climbers from around the world have journeyed to test themselves on Everest's treacherous slopes, enlisting the expert aid of the Sherpas who live in the area. Drawing on years of field research in the Himalayas, renowned anthropologist Sherry Ortner presents a compelling account of the evolving relationship between the mountaineers and the Sherpas, a relationship of mutual dependence and cultural conflict played out in an environment of mortal risk.

Ortner explores this relationship partly through gripping accounts of expeditions--often in the climbers' own words--ranging from nineteenth-century forays by the British through the historic ascent of Hillary and Tenzing to the disasters described in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. She reveals the climbers, or "sahibs," to use the Sherpas' phrase, as countercultural romantics, seeking to transcend the vulgarity and materialism of modernity through the rigor and beauty of mountaineering. She shows how climbers' behavior toward the Sherpas has ranged from kindness to cruelty, from cultural sensitivity to derision. Ortner traces the political and economic factors that led the Sherpas to join expeditions and examines the impact of climbing on their traditional culture, religion, and identity. She examines Sherpas' attitude toward death, the implications of the shared masculinity of Sherpas and sahibs, and the relationship between Sherpas and the increasing number of women climbers. Ortner also tackles debates about whether the Sherpas have been "spoiled" by mountaineering and whether climbing itself has been spoiled by commercialism.
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
May 1, 2013 - 10:53am PT
“That’s the great thing about Sherpas: You can fight with 100 of them but still make up and go climb Everest later like nothing happened.”
http://www.theonion.com/articles/3-climbers-100-sherpas-brawl-on-mt-everest,32268/
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 1, 2013 - 10:54am PT
Well Jan,, the last sentence in the above pretty much describes to a "t",, the happenings there eh!

If there is one thing that has gone completely over board, beyond the call of reason or justice, it WOULD BE the fiasco we now know as base camp..
klk

Trad climber
cali
May 1, 2013 - 11:03am PT
For serious historical scholarship on the Sherpas and mountaineering, see Sherri Ortner's book, Life and Death on Mt. Everest: Sherpas and Mountaineering.

i'm familiar with ortner's work, although i don't know her well, personally.

the work is ethnographic rather than historical. not a bad thing, but that means that it tries to give a mostly synchronic snapshot of sherpa culture at a given time. in this case, sherpa culture at more or less the period in which she did most of her fieldwork several decades ago.

because of the difficulties posed by language, and the problems with archival sources, we are a long, long way off from having any sort of historical work on the everest region that approaches the sort of scholarship we routinely write on the alps or even on east asia.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 1, 2013 - 11:25am PT
That there are no archives is all a part of the inequality of the relationship. Sherpa is an unwritten language so all we have are ethnographic interviews based on memories from the Sherpa side and the well publicized western accounts of the past 100 years.
10b4me

Ice climber
Happy Boulders
May 1, 2013 - 11:41am PT
Ortner also tackles debates about whether the Sherpas have been "spoiled" by mountaineering and whether climbing itself has been spoiled by commercialism.

No doubt in my mind that climbing Everest has been spoiled by commercialism
klk

Trad climber
cali
May 1, 2013 - 11:45am PT
That there are no archives is all a part of the inequality of the relationship. Sherpa is an unwritten language so all we have are ethnographic interviews based on memories from the Sherpa side and the well publicized western accounts of the past 100 years.

indeed-- historical research in peripheral and colonial areas, and especially for folks not well-represented in state archives, is extraordinarily difficult. and it gets even tougher when even the literature based on the regional activities of the major states is also thin-- very few sinologists work on that portion of china, for instance. and the south asian literature, which can be very rich, is mostly focused farther south. a history of the everest region, to be comparable in coverage to the sort of history we'd expect for, say, the alps, would require someone competent in mandarin, hindi, english, german, and french as reading languages, and some familiarity with a variety of local, spoken languages and cultural traditions. and that's assuming one could even get into the chinese archives.

i was trying to point that out for an audience unfamiliar with the literature.

i suppose a climbing analogy might work better-- the difference between writing histories of the everest region and writing histories of the alps is a bit like the difference between free-climbing on el cap and trying to free climb on a bad part of baffin.

thirsty

climber
May 1, 2013 - 11:53am PT
I reject the commercialization of climbing despite its financial benefits to various overseas locals who don’t have much money and local climbers who don’t have much enthusiasm for other work. I think that one positive thing the whole climbing community could do is to vocally embrace the ethic that climbing isn’t really climbing if you aren’t self-sufficient. A guided climb is like hiring a prostitute but worse, because sex without love might not be ideal, but it can satisfy some natural appetites, whereas climbing without making your own decisions (as an individual or as part of a team that may have more experienced members) only falsely satisfies a vanity ego drive. There will always be room for instructional work teaching people techniques they might use in doing their own climbs. I have done a good amount of guiding myself, justifying taking people up peaks at the end of several days of technical instruction by telling myself and them that the ascents were also instructional, seeing how things unfolded and what decisions were made. However, at this point, I don’t think that justification flies. There are too many clients who are not aiming for their own accents and who think they have climbed something when they were guided. There are too many guides selling ascents rather than instruction. I advocate land managers and the climbing community coming together to reject guided ascents and for-profit organizations. I support non-profits with a focus on stewardship and instruction being allowed use of those public land resources. I support the instructional / guiding community structuring courses so as to eliminate peak ascents, although partial climbs could still be done with a focus on breaking down what you are doing and why rather than reaching any particular point on a route, although that will obviously be the focus when the clients go off to do their own real climbing. (I would also ask all the organizations and individuals to reject tipping, as it perverts education and instruction into a service.) I understand that some organizations that focus more on personal growth than high end technical alpinism or high altitude mountaineering use ascents as a component in the process as an achievement in learning how to push oneself, work with others, etc… That’s fine and great for routes of a pitch or two or three, but from what I have seen, once you move those groups to bigger mountain objectives where you have to bring in a cadre of guides to get them to the top, the participants are taking responsibility for a lot less and it is just an endurance event for them. It sells courses, but I don’t think it actually contributes that much to the core goals and purpose of those courses.
G Zeus

Trad climber
Tucson, AZ
May 1, 2013 - 12:19pm PT
You could have stated your opinion without disparaging sex workers.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
May 1, 2013 - 12:19pm PT
^^^ That is a very dense read! I don't think I can manage it.

DMT
Deekaid

climber
May 1, 2013 - 12:22pm PT
Paragraphs, man, paragraphs.
Looks interesting but too hard to read.
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
May 1, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
Peter Beal's perspective:

http://www.mountainsandwater.com/
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
May 1, 2013 - 01:12pm PT
What of the Maoist influence in the Solo Kumbu and their extractions form the local guides and porters?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 1, 2013 - 01:14pm PT
^^^ Unless you are trolling I don't believe the Maoists operated there in
any meaningfull manner. I'm sure Jan will put us right.
Amber.C

climber
May 1, 2013 - 01:46pm PT
You might not have all the facts wrong coz, but that's a pretty selective interpretation of them.

Let's try this on for size:

If I were climbing on a steep face without a rope and someone who is roped up pushed me or otherwise touched me, you can bet some I'd have some choice words for them, especially if my biggest infraction was stepping gingerly over top of the leader's rope while he was above me climbing. While I've made a choice to be ropeless on the face, my life is literally at stake from the slightest mistake, and you want to push me? Cultural differences be damned, you can bet I'm going to swear at you.

Now imagine you're on some route like Liberty Ridge or V-Notch here in the states. A guided party is doing there thing, taking up the route, and you are soloing. It's a wide ridge and you can climb parallel and at a distance, but near the exit you have to step over the leader's rope. You do so, after having made sure all along that you minimize the other group's exposure to falling ice. For this interference, someone tries to push you off the face. And then, when you get down, the leader and 99 of his buddies assault you. That sound cool to you?

I have to imagine everyone here has, at some point, stepped over a leader's rope near the belay to do some variation, to pass, or what have you. And most of you who have climbed in the mountains on ice know that falling ice is part of the gig; you expect people to be careful about hitting you with ice, and you appreciate people who go far out of their way to avoid hitting you. And when they have to climb over top of you, you hope they're not over top of you when you're leading, and you hope they're careful. Sounds to me like exactly what these guys did (in my equally selective interpretation of the facts as coz), and they got sh#t for it. Doesn't make much sense to me.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 1, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
there are a number of things that are becoming clear in this incident.

1. Setting the ropes on the face is dangerous work. All the expeditions on the mountain had a meeting to assure that the sherpa involved would not have to worry about others around them, so they could concentrate on their work.
All expeditions agreed to this.

2. The three were informed of this as they climbed, and asked to turn around by both westerners and sherpa.

3. The three ignored these safety measures.

4. The three crossed over above the sherpa team, and dislodged ice that hit a sherpa, causing the sherpa team to retire for the day.

5. The three took ropes that did not belong to them, and fixed them in place to camp 3, in an action that took over the function of the sherpa team, without permission of other expeditions.

6. On open radio lines, the three radioed challenges to fight, to sherpa, laced with profanity, and demanded a meeting with sherpa.

7. While surrounded by a hundred sherpa, the three proceeded to insult and demean the sherpa.

8. violence erupted.

9. The three were protected by 3-4 people, one of which I know personally, so I look forward to a FIRST HAND objective account.


I don't know what the current standard is, but I'd be surprised if anyone here had someone climb above them in dangerous conditions, when asked not to, dislodged missiles that came down and injured your party, and would not aggressively assert themselves.

Is it because Sherpa are lesser people that they should not respond the same way?

klk

Trad climber
cali
May 1, 2013 - 01:58pm PT
ken, as i understand it, numbers 1, 2 and 3 are apparently not settled. certainly one possible outcome from this is that no one will ever again be allowed to go to c3 until the official sherpa team has finished rope fixing for the commercial expeditions.


chad kellogg's blog:

http://www.explorersweb.com/kellogg7/


and a partial, eng. lang. version of the russian team's view:

http://www.explorersweb.com/kellogg7/






Amber.C

climber
May 1, 2013 - 02:02pm PT
What is becoming clear is that some people are reading one account and drawing conclusions from it.

If you read only Steck or Moro's accounts, they seem to be completely reasonable people who were unduly assaulted for doing nothing.

If you read only the account from Alan Arnette's blog (the letter from AAI, which is "the sherpa's view") you think these guys are ass holes who knew what they were doing, endangered everyone, sh#t on Nepalese culture and then threw punches to round it all out.

If you actually read multiple accounts, it's not at all clear who is at fault, and blanket assertions like those made by Ken seem rather silly. Many of those things you think are "becoming clear" are actively disputed and are not at all clear.

Amber.C

climber
May 1, 2013 - 02:04pm PT
klk, both your links go to Kellogg's story. Is there a link to the Russian one that you can share?
abrams

Sport climber
May 1, 2013 - 02:09pm PT
Seriously the Nepalese are not like us wimpy westerners. Just a few weeks
ago in Katmandu men, women and children ran out of they homes in mass to attack a Himalayan mountain leopard that crept into town for breakfast.

They did not run away. They ran towards it. Many got clawed and bitten. Police trying to clear the melee for a clear shot also got shredded.

And after the leopard was dead. Did they just shake hands and calmly go home letting animal control dispose of the dead cat? Of course not!

In Katmandu the still screaming mob drags the leopard through the streets where everyone gets a chance to kick, stomp and punch the f%ck out of the dead animal.

warning graphic images
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2306999/Police-shoot-dead-leopard-attacked-9-people-suburbs-Kathmandu.html
klk

Trad climber
cali
May 1, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
sorry for the bad link, the russian one is up at explorersweb:

http://www.explorersweb.com/everest_k2/news.php?id=21442


TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
May 1, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
Ken, it will be interesting reading for sure.
Klk, "certainly one possible outcome from this is that no one will ever again be allowed to go to c3 until the official sherpa team has finished rope fixing for the commercial expeditions." Wouldn't be surprised. That won't bode well for those wishing to climb in fast, lightweight style, under their own steam.Chad's blog was insight full for sure.
TY
Amber.C

climber
May 1, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
It's pretty obvious to me, that if these three superstar respected the one day of fixing, none of this would have happen.

Probably hard for western climbers who fear brown people to comprehend.

I have literally no idea how your first sentence relates to your second, but I guess that is about par for the course with your posts that I've read in this thread.
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
May 1, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
Those people in Katmandu probably just thought the leopard was trying to fix their ropes.
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 1, 2013 - 02:38pm PT
Those people in Katmandu probably just thought the leopard was trying to fix their ropes.


Sure seems like it. They put down their work en masse and went after the son of a bitch.
nah000

climber
canuckistan
May 1, 2013 - 02:41pm PT
i think a good part of how people see this incident is dependent on whether they view this through the lens of everest being a typical recreational climbing environment or whether they see everest as a dangerous work environment. most sherpas are not on everest primarily to chase a climbing dream, but rather to punch a clock in order to provide a small living for their families while doing a job they have reasonable expectations they may not make it home from.

i'd dare anyone here to go to a dangerous construction site, say one with underpaid ironworkers for example, and begin the day by skipping the safety meeting, move on to breaking safety protocol in front of the foreman [whether the protocol was rational or not], then cuss said foreman out when he gets pissed, and finish everything off by completing other people's work.

finally said construction site is at altitude.

those of you who are shocked by what happened have obviously never f*#ked with the foreman on a construction site where not following rules means you're putting another workers life in danger…

none of this makes what happened "right" and i have no idea whether moro, et al were willfully negligent or whether they innocently stepped into a maelstrom.

but couple the above with long standing cultural frustrations and yeah even rocks at people's heads is not as shocking as reading the original reports makes it out to be.

whether everest should be an environment where clocks are punched is another question. for the time being that is the reality.
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
May 1, 2013 - 02:43pm PT
No trolling, when I was there 10 years ago the Maoists were very influential in the Solo (lower) Kumbu and were extracting money from the porters that lived in the Solo Kumbu but made the bulk of their money working in the Kumbu.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 1, 2013 - 02:43pm PT
There are all manner of celebrations when predators are taken by indigenous peoples. Native Indians here as well. Not shocking by any means.
crunch

Social climber
CO
May 1, 2013 - 02:45pm PT
It's pretty obvious to me, that if these three superstar respected the one day of fixing, none of this would have happen.

http://www.explorersweb.com/everest_k2/news.php?id=21439

I've heard four days, not one and the link above supports this. Meeting was on the 18th. Altercation was on 27th. Sounds like 26 and 27 was rope fixing (and still not finished), and two days before that "scouting" the best line for the fixed ropes.
michael feldman

Mountain climber
millburn, nj
May 1, 2013 - 03:13pm PT
It seems to me that there was simply no excuse or justification for this to escalate into violence. Why should one set of climbers wait to climb simply because another set wants to climb at the same time (in this case, to fix ropes)? I get it if there is a true safety concern - however, under such a theory, once the first 10 or 20 climbers head to the summit from camp IV, all others should wait so there is not a bottleneck. I do not hear any outrage over 100 climbers all leaving at the same time for summit day. In this case, I understand there are numerous reasons why the Sherpa were upset (and there are surely numerous "potential" reasons). However, Steck and Moro had every right to be climbing to the side so it fit their schedule. As far as I know, they were not using any Sherpa support, so they can do what they want. For example, would it be wrong for Sherpa (or anyone else - not to single out the Sherpa) to get upset if on the main summit day for the commercial expeditions, Steck and Moro decided to also climb to the summit and bypass the fixed ropes? What if it made other climbers nervous to have Steck and Moro so close on the route? And yes, I understand that they did not have a permit to climb to the summit from the South - this is just a hypothetical.

I have tremendous respect for the Sherpa, their culture and the hard work they do. I do not consider this incident to reflect upon the Sherpa as a people, but rather the particular individuals involved. That being said, even if these individuals felt insulted, they had no right to resort to violence as a result. There is no one group or individual who has more right to be on the mountain than others. Even if Steck and Moro had been total A-holes, attacking them should not be acceptable.

Finally, while I am happy that some mountains like Everest and Denali have a degree of self-regulation, this self-regulation is really optional. Climbers have no right to enforce their own code of conduct on other climbers. That is what makes mountaineering so wonderful (well, one of the things). Imagine if someone climbing without O2 on Everest thought it was ok to punch someone climbing with O2 because that person was moving faster, or imagine the person with O2 laughed at the slower climber without O2 and a fight started? That's not what the mountains are about.

I am glad everyone seemed to have apologized, but unfortunately, it appears that this incident will have lasting effects. Ironically, even though the violence appears to have been done by just a few Sherpas, their reputation as a group will likely be damaged (which is a shame).

That's my 2 cents
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 1, 2013 - 03:19pm PT
seems to be a complete clash of cultures that have made an absolute mockery of the whole sheebang. Selling the Big E like a carnival ride was NOT a gud idea. Guides showing up with a hundred or more clients maybe SHOULD be beaten and tossed in a crevasse.

I hope Nepal decides to reclaim its land. Even the dream has been ruined. Give it back to the Sherpas. Let them decide who gets to climb and when. I cant help but feel the rest of the world has used that Big gal like a worn out hooker at moonlight ranch..
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
May 1, 2013 - 03:20pm PT
The aforementioned 2 cents is worth a helluva lot more than what you're blathering, Ron.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 1, 2013 - 03:22pm PT
and YET yur post,, even weaker...
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
May 1, 2013 - 03:37pm PT
Ever met Lois, Ron?

How come you two are never seen in the same room together?
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 1, 2013 - 03:39pm PT
eyeyaint hur,, im da lizurd KING..
jstan

climber
May 1, 2013 - 03:49pm PT
Will the app for blocking used by Tacoans run on OSX for pre-intel processors?
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
May 1, 2013 - 03:56pm PT
Too much money being made And the Sherpas know it
Maybe its Time for cracker to kick down If they want to go climbing
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 1, 2013 - 04:19pm PT
I still cant get over 1 guide with over a hundred fuggin "clients".. Again,, beat him,, and toss im in a crevasse.. How many do they think they can clog the route with anyhow? its HILARIOUS!
TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
May 1, 2013 - 05:18pm PT
"we look at Sherpas as third world labor because of the color of their skin and economics of their country, and this is hard for white people who have lots of money to understand."
Coz, you hit the nail squarely on the head.
Don't believe it? Turn off the revenue stream and see what happens.
My Mothers side of the family come from those known as Sioux. John Trudell speaks eloquently and the attitude translates pretty well.
" White people are not racist because they do not know any better or because of some kind of natural us-and-them “tribalism”. It goes far deeper than that. To see people of colour as the human beings they truly are would mean whites would have to see themselves as they truly are – and deep down they know it is not pretty."
There, that ought to start some fires. Perhaps a good hard look at the reality of guiding Everest and what that entails is in need of a overhaul. When the money gets big enough, it's all about the money. I really wish them luck in sorting this mess out. Feelings have been hurt and trust betrayed. I do feel if the truth be known, we may will find bruised egos on both sides of the Sherpa vs. the non commercial climber issue, with an under tow of lost revenue, a sense of entitlement, and a cultural strain exacerbated by a language barrier. All of these things contribute to the growing circus that is the Everest experience these days. And, in more than one aspect, I find this whole episode sadly ironic and inevitable. I am not however surprised.
TY
michael feldman

Mountain climber
millburn, nj
May 1, 2013 - 06:14pm PT
Note that this is NOT a matter of giving back Everest or the land to the Sherpa. The land, and thus the mountain, are already "owned" by Nepal and China. Thus, there is no one to "give it back" to - unless you are suggesting that the Sherpa form their own country and own Everest. In all seriousness, until recently, there was nobody on Everest, so there is nobody to give it back to. While there is no doubt that the Sherpa do the majority of the hard work on commercial (and many other) expeditions, they do not own the mountain any more than anyone else. The Sherpa are paid for these services and it presumably does much good for them, their families and their communities. To the extent it does not do them good, it would be easy for the Sherpa to get together and refuse to provide any services on Mount Everest or any other mountain they want. Perhaps that would completely change the mountain. Or perhaps, others would fill in.
In the end, if people simply respected each other (even if they disagree) and understand that mountains are for all (hey, can't we all just get along), everyone would be better off and we would not have this unnecessary violence which benefits nobody.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 1, 2013 - 06:25pm PT
Everyone is making money off of Everest - the Nepalese government, the western guide services, and the Sherpas. There's no way a handful of Alpine purists are going to prevail over that. The goddess who lives on the top of Everest by the way, is the goddess of wealth, one of the reasons the Sherpas feel free to participate in the whole scene. They believe she blesses the whole enterprise, otherwise it would not have turned out so well for them.

A few other cultural corrections. The leopard killed was a lowland variety, not a snow leopard. Those leopards do not go above about10,000 feet and the snow leopards do not come below 12,000 feet. The snow leopards do not attack people, only livestock, possibly because their territory is less encroached upon.

There are so called Maoists in Sherpa land. Mostly they are in the low altitude areas and are comprised of poor Sherpas and people of other ethnic groups who are less fortunate. Many people calling themselves Maoists however, are simply taking advantage of the chaos to even scores against rich people and those they don't like. Maoism in many areas (Makalu being the worst and also a mixed Sherpa territory) is a simple extortion racket often aimed at passing expeditions.

The Chinese archives will have nothing on Sherpas. Prior to 1951, there were only two Chinese officials in Lhasa and the occasional trader. Any reports about expeditions were written in Tibetan. After the 1959 invasion, the Chinese sealed the border to western expeditions and the Chinese expeditions to Everest which started in the 1960's, employed only Tibetans, not Sherpas. Nowadays western groups going to the north side take Sherpas with them, and whatever is written in Chinese is almost certainly done by their security services and classified. Their main concern for both westerners and Sherpas is that they not help Tibetans escape across the border or even witness the killing of those who try.

If a person wants to get incensed over the guide services, the story of the Tibetans including a young nun, gunned down in full view of climbers at base camp on Cho Oyu, and the attempted coverup by the guide agencies so as not to anger the Chinese and jeopardize the climb, is the worst in my books. The episode was exposed by the way, by climbers from eastern Europe and guides from South America who had seen enough of dictators and totalitarianism and posted photos on the web. The two guides were then blackballed the next year by the guide services and had to work elsewhere.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 1, 2013 - 07:25pm PT
And the American Alpine Club weighs in:

http://inclined.americanalpineclub.org/2013/05/everest-then-and-now/

along with Broughton Coburn, the author of a new book on the American expoedition of 1963.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130501-mount-everest-fight-sherpas-sahibs-world-mountain-climbing/?fb_action_ids=10151567374038094&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map={%2210151567374038094%22%3A568095499877315}&action_type_map={%2210151567374038094%22%3A%22og.likes%22}&action_ref_map=[]
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
May 1, 2013 - 09:15pm PT
Wondering how many here have had bed tea @ 7100m? or have even met a sherpa?
jus sayin.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 1, 2013 - 09:37pm PT
You got it wrong, coz.

Sherpa's overreacted 10x and I hope they go to jail.

It's a f*#king mountain. Anyone is free to climb it by whatever means.

Sherpas pride hurt - bfd.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 1, 2013 - 09:42pm PT
That's the spirit that makes visiting climbers so popular the world over Crankster !
Amber.C

climber
May 1, 2013 - 09:50pm PT
Sorry, for your lack of reading comprehension.

Do u really need it spelled out for u?

Edit,

For u and DMT, we look at Sherpas as third world labor because of the color of their skin and economics of their country, and this is hard for white people who have lots of money to understand.


I'll try to be less metaphorical in the future, LOL:)





The problem isn't that you're overly metaphorical (I didn't see a metaphor in there, but let's leave that aside). It's that your argument is incomprehensible.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and interpret your "argument" to be something like: white people side with other the Europeans because they are scared of brown people and view Sherpas as expendable laborers. In other words, we are treating this situation differently because the Sherpas are "brown."

But I don't think that's true at all. In fact, I think you're treating the situation differently because of who is involved. Again, imagine if this happened in the US: say I'm doing an independent climb of Liberty Ridge and RMI is guiding a bunch of people up. I'm moving faster and going to a higher camp than they are. We're on an area of 60 degree ice and I am staying away from them to the extent that is reasonable. At some point I have to cross over their lines to get to my camp. I do so at the most reasonable point possible--not over top of the leader, trying to be careful not to hurt the followers and belayer below.

For my trouble, I'm pushed or otherwise touched while soloing on 60 degree ice, by someone who is anchored to the slope. And then, when I get to my camp, a group of 100 RMI guides assemble, hitting me, throwing rocks at me and telling me to run off the mountain or they'll throw me off.

If this were RMI guides, they'd be fired, and face criminal penalties both for the punching and stoning and--arguably--for the attempted manslaughter of pushing someone off a 60 degree pitch of ice to their deaths. But I guess you accept this kind of behavior for the supposed infraction of stepping gingerly over someone's rope? Or are you treating the situation differently because of the color of the participants' skin?
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 1, 2013 - 09:54pm PT
Sounds great if this was the debating club Amber C. But it's not and why it's not is that it didn't happen in your mythical America.
Amber.C

climber
May 1, 2013 - 09:55pm PT
P.S. Coz, I assume you think DMT should have been hurled down North Peak years ago. Some years ago he (I think this is the same fella) admitted that he had soloed past a group of roped climbers in an icy couloir up there. He was cognizant of the relatively brief risk he exposed them to from falling ice and did everything he could to minimize that risk, and that's all I'd ever ask from someone climbing near me in the mountains.

But I guess you think the group should have caught up to him, pushed him around while soloing in a you-fall-you-die situation and then met him at camp afterward and pummeled him, right?

Yeah, that sounds like something the SuperTopo community would endorse, eh?
Amber.C

climber
May 1, 2013 - 10:12pm PT
Hi Jim,

I didn't know America was mythical. I think you're mistaken. Drive south on 99 a bit and I think you'll see it's a real place.

More to the point: what is different about the two situations that I described that justifies very different reactions (I think almost everyone here would roundly condemn a guide on Rainier in the situation I described, but many are not doing the same re: Everest)? And why do those situational differences justify those disparate reactions?

I don't mean to turn this into a debate club, but as long as we're talking about colonial oppression and labor exploitation, we might as well get the ethics here f*#king straight.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
May 1, 2013 - 10:23pm PT
He was cognizant of the relatively brief risk he exposed them to from falling ice and did everything he could to minimize that risk

What if said soloist peeled? More is going to happen than falling ice bits. Just sayin. A roped team in a situation like that could be in a bad situation as long as that guy is up there and they'll be thinking about it.

As far as the RMI analogy goes; Although RMI seems to own the Rainier, there are a couple of independent guide sevices now. Are there independent Sherpa guide services on Everest? It is their country. Are the natives getting wrestless? I kind of hope so. If the Sherpas had more say around there, instead of being the hired help, what might Everest be like - a little more like Bhutan? I kind of hope so.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 1, 2013 - 10:39pm PT
Amber C,


I didn't say America was mythical, I said your America (as stated) was.

Like all people, guides can be good or so-so. I have had experiences with guides and non pro climbers climbing through and over my friends and myself. I have also had guides and non pro climbers be the best in proximal climbing professionalism.

This is an interesting topic, especially for people who have traveled to foreign countries with their local attitudes about climbing being given an edit by the people who live and make a living there.

Asia is a tough place populated by tough people who have as acute a sense of dignity as anyone else. It starts with respect from visitors, even if that respect means suffering inconvenience.
Amber.C

climber
May 1, 2013 - 11:04pm PT
McHale: the danger from a falling soloist is present, yes. But the probability of one of them falling on one of the 3-5 steps where they are above the following sherpas is pretty small. And I'd rather be anchored below and exposed to a falling soloist than a falling roped climber, since their rope would floss me off the slope.

Jim: I don't understand the mythical comment, since I didn't imagine an America that is unrealistic in the slightest, other than I doubt RMI guides much on Liberty Ridge. The scenario laid out is the American corollary to what allegedly happened on the Lhotse face. But whatever.

I can agree with much of your post, but I still fail to see how the three climbers disrespected the Sherpas by climbing over their rope (there was a verbal confrontation which was disrespectful, but that was after the whole thing had already started).

Regardless of local climbing custom, I have to assume that not pushing someone around when they are unroped on steep blue glacial ice is part of a universal human norm to not send another sliding to their death. But yes, god forbid someone step over a fixed rope while traversing a slope. The horror!
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 1, 2013 - 11:18pm PT
Amber C,

Well stated, but here's the difference. Your affinity for a certain bunch of climbers making a living on Mt. Rainier doesn't necessarily extend itself to what makes money on Mt. Everest.

Taking at face value that the abuse was one sided and was unbecoming fair play as it goes on here, isn't what is considered fair behavior somewhere else. The world can be surprisingly rough even if one has traveled south on HWY 99.

The Sherpas are pissed that some people are taking bread out of their mouths and walking through their worksite caution tape at the same time.

It sounds like a cultural divide to me.

McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
May 1, 2013 - 11:28pm PT
Amber, I realize it looked like I was comparing the 2 ice scenarios but I was just commenting on how I would feel with some as#@&%e climbing above me unroped with sharp spikes on his feet. And, that as#@&%e could be me, but I tend to steer clear of other humans, but occassionally I do run into them in ice gullies! That's complete bullshit of course but here we are!

I am curious why those guys came so close to the Sherpas on the Lhotse Face.....maybe they were being social......maybe they wanted to be able to grab a rope just in case....maybe they were showin off. There's so much crap to this sh#t we'll never know but, Viva Sherpas!
Amber.C

climber
May 1, 2013 - 11:37pm PT
I don't have any affinity for RMI. I'm just using Rainier as an example because it's an icy mountain that has a lot of guides. I fail to see any difference between the two examples, other than the Sherpas have a cultural heritage surrounding Everest that guides don't have WRT Rainier. I guess I'm a bit hard-headed, but you're going to have to be more specific than "Your affinity for a certain bunch of climbers making a living on Mt. Rainier doesn't necessarily extend itself to what makes money on Mt. Everest." I don't know what that means.

The Sherpas are pissed that some people are taking bread out of their mouths and walking through their worksite caution tape at the same time.

There you go. That's the difference. If you think that independent parties are stealing money by not hiring Sherpas and/or you think that this route is their exclusive worksite, then the Europeans' behavior is an egregious violation. I don't think either of those things are true, but that's a point I'm fine to disagree on.

I frankly don't care if Nepal wants to make the route the exclusive domain of guided parties, including a Sherpa-run guiding co-op. But as it stands, they had a permit to be there, so the area is not the Sherpas' or guides' exclusive worksite in my view. But YMMV.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 1, 2013 - 11:52pm PT
First of all, it's getting PC tiresome that when someone doesn't like what they get for a reply, they hold up their arms and say; "I don't know what that means" ... Cute but laughable.

You personally don't care if Nepal wants to make the route the exclusive domain of guided parties by stating that a permit equals a free for all. That's not how it works and any liaison officer on the ground will be sure to remind any one of what equals a civil understanding in their country.

I climb, therefore I am, is refreshingly idealistic.
Amber.C

climber
May 2, 2013 - 12:04am PT
I don't think the words you use mean what you think they mean.

When I say "I don't know what that means" that's not being PC under any standard usage of the term PC. I'm sorry you can't elaborate on what you meant, but in my experience that usually suggests the original point was poorly thought out.

When I mention RMI to paint a hypothetical, I have "an affinity" for RMI. Huh?

Again, tell me the difference between the two scenarios that justifies your different reactions. I assume in the Rainier example you would condemn the guides, but in the Everest example you defend the Sherpas. I think the difference is that you perceive the Sherpas to have some right to Everest that RMI guides don't have to Rainier, which is certainly reasonable. But I'd really rather you say what you think rather than force me to intuit your thoughts.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 2, 2013 - 12:19am PT
JIM !! TROLL ALERT !!!
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 2, 2013 - 12:27am PT
Words are a means of communication and I am fully aware of their meaning.

Face it, You have never gone somewhere where the local people making a living through packing ropes and freight up a mountain have a different agenda concerning where the value lies, compared to tourists.

So as to clarify, every one who goes on a climbing holiday in a foreign country, regardless of their ideals concerning ascent methods is still some one having a holiday.

Once again, that's the difference. The people who live there all the time may not share the sentiments of their clients. It's business.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 2, 2013 - 12:28am PT
... every one who goes on a climbing holiday in a foreign country, regardless of their ideals concerning ascent methods is still some one having a holiday.


+1,000
Well said Jim.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
May 2, 2013 - 12:55am PT
the mountains are a place to get away from society and refresh your spirit

from reading about Everest, what goes on there is antithetical to all the reasons i go to the mountains

during my one attempt to climb Rainer in the fashion to which i am accustomed, i.e. doing my best at being self-reliant and staying away from other climbing parties; the RMI guides repeatedly sought me out and harassed me to an extent of never again wanting to go any where near that mountain...seems very similar to this story...

if i wanted that sort of social interaction, i could have been a football player rather than a mountain climber

perhaps if we properly explore and analyze what happened on Mars, we can better appreciate and care for the wonders of this planet...so i wish all that misguided money would refocus attention to Olympus Mons, which is much more challenging the Everest...

Amber.C

climber
May 2, 2013 - 12:56am PT
Jim, I didn't know we were having a dick-measuring contest. Would you like me to post my climbing resume for you or something? I've climbed mountains on 4 continents, including Asia. I've never been to Everest, but I've climbed peaks in the Himalaya.

Once again, that's the difference. The people who live there all the time may not share the sentiments of their clients. It's business.

These weren't clients. They were individuals who had paid for a permit to climb Everest and be in that area, without--as far as I'm aware--any stipulation written into the permit to avoid climbing on specific days. And if you believe the Russians' account that was linked to a couple of days ago, the three Europeans had gotten approval to climb the face immediately prior to the altercation (I don't know how credible that is).

So as to clarify, every one who goes on a climbing holiday in a foreign country, regardless of their ideals concerning ascent methods is still some one having a holiday.

Okay. I will keep that in mind next time I'm at Lake Louise. Better do what the guides up there say--even if they're not my guides--or I might get pummeled!

I'm not sure why it matters if one crosses a border. So I can safely ignore guides on Rainier without consequence but not if I'm in Squamish? Or does this only apply to poor countries?

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 2, 2013 - 12:59am PT
Well, not to put too fine a point on it but I'm pretty sure the guides at
Lake Louise, Squeamish, and Mt Rainier aren't really the 'owners', unless
you're all for white supremacy.
Amber.C

climber
May 2, 2013 - 01:09am PT
Well, not to put too fine a point on it but I'm pretty sure the guides at
Lake Louise, Squeamish, and Mt Rainier aren't really the 'owners', unless
you're all for white supremacy.

Fair enough--I agree. My question then is "do the sherpas own Everest?" There are reasonable arguments to be made that they do (or should). I'm not sure I agree with them, but--like I said before--I'm comfortable chalking that up to different viewpoints.

I'd rather the Sherpas "own" Everest than the guide companies or the Nepalese government, personally. But I don't think anyone really owns the mountain.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
May 2, 2013 - 01:12am PT
Is it possible to climb Everest when the crowds leave?
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 2, 2013 - 01:13am PT
No, that's OK Amber.

Please don't measure your dick for my sake, It would be tough to explain why you felt so compelled to my girlfriend.

Whether the subjects of this turmoil were clients to the rope setters or not, seems to be academic in the Sherpa's eyes but collegiate in yours. As for what other expeditions have to say, they weren't there.

Feel free to do whatever you feel is best in any country you travel to but don't complain and please don't explain if the rebuttal is somewhat less smooth than what you're used to at home.

ps. The Post Hotel at Lake Louise Village still serves beers to wet your tie in as consolation after being roughed up by Louise Falls !
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 2, 2013 - 01:29am PT
I'm not sure why it matters if one crosses a border.


GUFFAW.
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
May 2, 2013 - 01:40am PT
The economics driving guiding on Everest on the Nepal side are not as simple as many might believe. The differing interests of the national government, the locals in Namche, the locals in Lukla, and what ever is going on in the Solo, are going to play out in the short intense season where money can be made.

Likely the Sherpas see laying fixed lines as something similar to building a bridge across the Hudson in terms of local infrastructure. The government wants the head tax, the Lukla folks want lodging money as flights back up due to sketchy weather, and political kickbacks in the lower parts of the region extract their pound of flesh.

Add this to the concept that the tips from guiding a successful ascent might be enough to pay for tuition for the guide's kids to go to school in Kathmamdu, make the stakes different from what we are used to in North America or even Europe. It is a different world. Western ideas of freedom in the hills are completely out of context in the Everest area in regards to sharing the resource of Everest.


Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 2, 2013 - 01:56am PT
Why should one set of climbers wait to climb simply because another set wants to climb at the same time (in this case, to fix ropes)?

Because every climb leader was invited to meet to determine the safest way to climb the mountain, and they ALL agreed to this protocol. So it is not one group vs one other group.....it is one group vs everyone else on the mountain...literally hundreds.

There is no one group or individual who has more right to be on the mountain than others.

I'm sure you would not feel that way if you found out you could not climb in Yos, because the Russians had leased it for the season.

The Nepali have total rights to the mountain.....it is THEIR COUNTRY. Non-nepalese are only there, because they are allowed to be there, under whatever rules and costs are imposed by the OWNER.

Finally, while I am happy that some mountains like Everest and Denali have a degree of self-regulation, this self-regulation is really optional. Climbers have no right to enforce their own code of conduct on other climbers.

If we don't self regulate, we invite regulation by outside entities. It is not optional, it is essential.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 2, 2013 - 02:01am PT
While there is no doubt that the Sherpa do the majority of the hard work on commercial (and many other) expeditions, they do not own the mountain any more than anyone else.

the phenomenon being exhibited above is referred to as "The Ugly American"

When the natives of a country do not own the public lands in that country to a greater degree than non-citizens......."Yosemite, brought to you by Iran"
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 2, 2013 - 02:05am PT
It's a f*#king mountain. Anyone is free to climb it by whatever means.

Sherpas pride hurt - bfd.

That's what allows me to come into YOUR home, trash it, eat your food, generally take it over, and when you come home and are upset....bfd

We are NOT free to climb it by whatever means. We are guests only allowed under certain circumstances.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 2, 2013 - 02:09am PT
But I don't think that's true at all. In fact, I think you're treating the situation differently because of who is involved. Again, imagine if this happened in the US: say I'm doing an independent climb of Liberty Ridge and RMI is guiding a bunch of people up. I'm moving faster and going to a higher camp than they are. We're on an area of 60 degree ice and I am staying away from them to the extent that is reasonable. At some point I have to cross over their lines to get to my camp. I do so at the most reasonable point possible--not over top of the leader, trying to be careful not to hurt the followers and belayer below.

For my trouble, I'm pushed or otherwise touched while soloing on 60 degree ice, by someone who is anchored to the slope. And then, when I get to my camp, a group of 100 RMI guides assemble, hitting me, throwing rocks at me and telling me to run off the mountain or they'll throw me off.

Is the best you can do to make up lies?

You left out the part where everyone agreed to not climb the route that day, for safety.

You left out the part where you DEMANDED that the others assemble at your call, to be berated by you, as well as you challenging them to a fight....heard over an open radio heard by hundreds.

You left out the part about being so unskilled as to knock off ice onto climbers below and injuring them.
Amber.C

climber
May 2, 2013 - 02:36am PT
Ken, get a grip. You've read one account and have taken it as the gospel truth. I've read many other accounts which dispute the facts you've listed. Neither of us know exactly what happened. If Moro (or Steck, etc) got verbally confrontational without being provoked in some egregious way, I wouldn't defend it at all. I'm basing most of my comments on what I see as the most credible accounts, triangulating between Chad Kellogg, Steck, the Russians and Melissa Arnot. If those accounts prove to be wrong, I'll revise my views then.

I'm not "making up lies," any more than you are by focusing on one side of the story.
Degaine

climber
May 2, 2013 - 04:33am PT
Amber C. wrote:
I'm not sure why it matters if one crosses a border. So I can safely ignore guides on Rainier without consequence but not if I'm in Squamish? Or does this only apply to poor countries?


Anyone who's traveled to another country knows that there is always a risk of some for of cultural misunderstanding.

This risk increases when the locals and the visitors speak to each other in a language that is not their mother tongue.

Add to this a stressful situation of being at high altitude on a relatively steep face, fatigue, etc., etc., and you have the right mix frustration and for tempers to fly, even if everyone has the best intentions.

Just look at how many people on this very site slag Europeans when they come to climb in Yosemite, and how they should learn to adapt to the local way of doing things. If even been witness to a yelling match or two in Camp 4 between "locals" and a couple of Swiss-Germans, and the "locals" did speak as if they owned the f*#king place.

Or even take the Alps, where altercations occur between people who speak the same language but are from different countries and thus different cultures: French/Swiss-French.

The Sherpa reaction to gang up on the three was certainly an overreaction, but the three Europeans certainly crossed a line that the should not have and that they were obviously not aware of (at least at the moment of the incident).

Amber C., you've traveled to 4 continents, I'm surprised to read that you're not cognizant of any of this.
Degaine

climber
May 2, 2013 - 04:37am PT
Amber C. wrote:
I'm basing most of my comments on what I see as the most credible accounts, triangulating between Chad Kellogg, Steck, the Russians and Melissa Arnot. If those accounts prove to be wrong, I'll revise my views then.

Yeah, but no matter how accurate these accounts are, they're still from a European/Westerner point of view, with all of the cultural misunderstandings and misinterpretations that can potentially go with it (even if those explaining the events have the best of intentions and are trying to be as accurate and impartial as possible).
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 2, 2013 - 04:54am PT
They've already lost the local opinion war. The best local newspaper is going with Garrett Madison's account following the lead of Agence France Presse. The Himalayan Times' first article was very neutral.


New account of Everest brawl emerges‚ points finger at foreign climbers
   

  Sherpas and Nepali guides 'were challenged' to fight that led to a bust-up in the high Himalayas on Saturday


http://thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=New+account+of+Everest+brawl+emerges%26sbquo%3B+points+finger+at+foreign+climbers&NewsID=374865&a=3
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 2, 2013 - 08:45am PT
BS, Ken, BS.

And Jan, I'm sure Simone challenged 20 Sherpa's to a fight. The frickin Sherpa's don't own the frickin mountain!!! Westerner's are not the Sherpa's guests!!!! Sherpa's aren't servants but they are paid employees. Gimme a frickin, bleeding heart break.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 2, 2013 - 08:57am PT
The Sherpas don't own the mountain, the Nepalese government does. The article in the Himalayan Times indicates to me that the power structure in Kathmandu is coming down on the side of the Sherpas, the guide services and the hundreds of people who want to climb the mountain.

Whether individual western climbers think it's fair or right doesn't matter, what the Nepalese government decides does.

The commercial interests are too great for it to be otherwise, regardless of the circumstances, but Moro in particular has come out looking by Asian standards, to be arrogant and immature which is unfortunate as he has done more for Nepal and Sherpas than most. Rule # 1 in Asia always, is never lose your temper and never swear at people. And for sure, leave their parents and their ancestors out of your insults.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 2, 2013 - 09:10am PT
And another opinion from someone on the mountain (really too casual if you ask me).

Thomas Stromstedt


Guys – ignore the press reports about Sherpas attacking climbers. It’s BS. The whole story is a storm in a tea cup. My understanding of the story: A (famous) Italian climber traversed over some rope fixing Sherpas on the Lhotse face and kicked off ice which hit the Sherpas. The Italian made a mistake a should have apologized but instead used foul language and offended the Sherpas further (the mountains are dwelling places of deities in the Sherpa culture’s belief). The whole thing could have been resolved by a sincere apology from the Italian who did a reckless and dangerous thing. The Sherpas support each other and it instead became a bit of a drama/fight when the Italian didn’t do the natural thing (apologize). It’s definitely not the question that Sherpa guides attacked their clients.


http://www.explorersweb.com/offsite/?source=http%3A%2F%2Fthomas-2013-everest.com%2F2013%2F05%2F02%2Fsupposed-sherpa-attack%2F&lang=en
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
May 2, 2013 - 10:32am PT
Societal dissimilarity notwithstanding, no one feels warm and fuzzy being invited to fight. And the identity chafing Sherpas have endured...could only add to their chagrin.

...not an event impelling them to bow in admiration of cultural difference.

Not being a warlike people, should westerners assume Sherpas take any less offense at a summons to physically clash?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 2, 2013 - 11:12am PT
Just wait until they complete the gondola into the Western Cwm.






"Lets get ready to RUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!"
WBraun

climber
May 2, 2013 - 12:01pm PT
Thomas Stromstedt's opinion is the most coherent voice I've seen in this whole fiasco .......
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 2, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
Crankster,, in ANY one "owns" Everest, it would be the Sherpas and indigenous peoples. Other people have been PERMITTED there period.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 2, 2013 - 01:38pm PT
"amber"

Ken, get a grip. You've read one account and have taken it as the gospel truth.

Not even close.

Chad Kellogg, Steck, the Russians and Melissa Arnot.

Only one of those was on the climb. So you are only taking one side into account, and the word of mouth from that person to other climbers.

Yeah, nice and unbiased.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
May 2, 2013 - 01:39pm PT
I'm with the Sherpas. Just cause you keep hearing western dudes give their thoughts in no way means that you have the other side. In Europe it's common to climb over the top of others and the slower buggers can piss off if they don't like it.

Everest isn't Europe. The base of Everest is littered with the rocks and prayer flags covering the bodies of dead climbers. Injured climbers on Everest have often been left to die on the Mt right where they sit or lay because extraction of the injured is so difficult at elevation. Many bodies litter the route as a reminder of this fact and climbers have to literally step over them on the way up.

3 western douchbags (exellent climbers doesn't make them good people) decided that they could and would climb over the top of Sherpas. That their needs were more important than the lives or aspirations of the hundreds below.

Now they have learned that others feel differently and gone home. Good. F*#k the 3 as#@&%es.


Jan said:
"if they resorted to violence there's a lot else going on that we don't know about"
This! Sherpas don't go crazy for no reason, so if you think of how almost every Euro climber acts as part of normal course of action.....(i aggressive, self-centered- climb over the top of you, etc etc)

Apologies have been made and folks involved have moved on, we should as well.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 2, 2013 - 01:43pm PT
I'm basing most of my comments on what I see as the most credible accounts, triangulating between Chad Kellogg, Steck, the Russians and Melissa Arnot. If those accounts prove to be wrong, I'll revise my views then.

“The events at Camp Two can only be described as sad and unacceptable,” said Melissa Arnot, an American mountaineer who told AFP she had helped separate the two sides.

I think the foreign climbers made the mistakes and the Sherpas made some mistakes in communication,” she later told American television channel ABC.
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 2, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
Maybe so, maybe "they made the mistakes", but would that justify killing them? Or to threaten to kill them? Stab them with a knife?

I don't know what Simone said when he was riled up, I can imagine him being a bit intense in a situation like that, but the Sherpa reaction sounds way, way over the top.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 2, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
We at "SOE" have heard all manner of things done against the "morals of the mountain".

Weve seen base camp look like the largest civilization in Nepal. Little cutties posing in front of the memorials looking like a stripper ad. All manner of improper relations on the mtn, bickering and competition between damm near each and every guide and or "team", thefts of "ohwzz" and other supplies, while at each and every turn,, there are Sherpas trudgin on up anyhow, to set the ropes for countless IDGETS whos only qualification for being there was a deep pocket.

Its said that to give a man a fish feeds him for the day, and teaching a man to fish feeds him for life. That is what the euro/westerners on Everst have done really. They Taught the Sherpas the nature of the game so now its time to let them feed themselves from it. Thats just small time evolution, and imo, they deserve that chance and respect. All the Euro/west influence has done is to turn it into the shyt hole it is.
I dont THINK any Sherpa would bring 100 friggin "clients" as his "team" do you?
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 2, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
We at "SOE" have heard all manner of things done against the "morals of the mountain".

Weve seen base camp look like the largest civilization in Nepal. Little cutties posing in front of the memorials looking like a stripper ad. All manner of improper relations on the mtn, bickering and competition between damm near each and every guide and or "team", thefts of "ohwzz" and other supplies, while at each and every turn,, there are Sherpas trudgin on up anyhow, to set the ropes for countless IDGETS whos only qualification for being there was a deep pocket.

Its said that to give a man a fish feeds him for the day, and teaching a man to fish feeds him for life. That is what the euro/westerners on Everst have done really. They Taught the Sherpas the nature of the game so now its time to let them feed themselves from it. Thats just small time evolution, and imo, they deserve that chance and respect. All the Euro/west influence has done is to turn it into the shyt hole it is.
I dont THINK any Sherpa would bring 100 friggin "clients" as his "team" do you?


Shut the f*#k up, Donny.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 2, 2013 - 02:24pm PT
The frickin Sherpa's don't own the frickin mountain!!! Westerner's are not the Sherpa's guests!!!! Sherpa's aren't servants but they are paid employees. Gimme a frickin, bleeding heart break.

The Sherpa are Nepalese Citizens. They are part owners of their own country. The Westerners are not. The westerners are short term immigrants, and have no say in how the country is run, nor how it's lands are administered. None.

You describe the Sherpa as employees. If so, they are contracted under the laws of Nepal, not the US, or Germany, nor Sweden. Inasmuch as you are not an Nepalese attorney, you should not be so sure as to what that contractual arrangement includes.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 2, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
oh yeah orle,,, well,, after we at "SOE" summit soon, and do the Bikin shots, the bowls, the tequilla shots, the first summit sled pics, the first lobet and corn meal from the summit, as well as the world record SLED descents of the north side, plus all the other summit firsts weve planned, we will leave the hill forever.. But the Sherpas will still get to keep all the HOOVER-ROUND chairs as parting thanks yous to their efforts.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 2, 2013 - 02:31pm PT
Ron,

I'm not sure I entirely understand that last post, but I think we are largely on the same page...the native people control their own lands, and should do so.

It had to happen.....
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 2, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
I guess we are Ken. Thats exactly what my on going parody "Sleds over Everest" is about really.

The farce that it has become is truly SAD. Lack of respect for culture, the land, the people in general coupled with rampant greed by a few.. And the results dont speak well for the influence going on .
neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
May 2, 2013 - 02:46pm PT
Again..yaks and lobsters are the only way to roll
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 2, 2013 - 02:52pm PT
DONTCHA know it ! Our Sherpas are nothing but lobster droolin grins 24/7..
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
May 2, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
I would gather from the response then that no one here on the taco has been to the Himalayas or met a Sherpa let alone share part of your life with
These great people
Y'all sure do talk like you have
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 2, 2013 - 03:24pm PT
Actually i did get to speak with a real live Sherpa once.. At the Reno trade show i believe it was..

But Stewie,, how does one justify as a guide, showing up with over 100 clients for one stinkin route?
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 2, 2013 - 03:31pm PT
Ask the Mazamas from the North West Ron:

michael feldman

Mountain climber
millburn, nj
May 2, 2013 - 04:05pm PT
Note that while Sherpa are from Nepal, and roughly half of Everest (and certainly the South side) is contained in Nepal, the Sherpa are not the government. The Nepal government has every right to pass whatever laws it wants regulating Everest and who can do what (whether people like it or not). They have passed the laws/rules they deem appropriate and are free to pass more. Neither the individual Sherpa on the mountain nor the "western" climbers (which is a completely overused term as people tend to use it to mean EVERYONE who is not a Sherpa) have the right to make the rules or pass the laws on Everest - just as no American has the right to make the laws for his/her hometown outside of the political process. The laws passed by the applicable government (China and Nepal) are the only laws in effect on Everest. Everything else is merely self-regulation and mutual respect (or lack thereof). Nepal is free to pass a law which limits the numbers of climbers, the routes they can climb, the days they can climb, or even appoint representatives to govern what occurs on the mountain (as some places have done in the past). Nepal could make Everest like the earlier days on Denali where the rangers had to approve climbers based upon their "resume" and numbers. Nepal is free to appoint Sherpa as rangers on the mountain with specific jobs and rules that people must follow. However, none of this has happened.
It is one thing for commercial groups and other climbers to get together and make their own rules for themselves. It is another thing to try to force others who are not part of these groups to follow those rules - even if doing so would be nice or useful. For example, what if Moro and Steck told everyone that they plan on climbing on a certain day, so they want the commercial expeditions to not climb on that day? Would that fly if Moro and Steck announced their plans first? I assume not. So why should the opposite apply - except possibly in the name of courtesy or getting along.
All of this being said, the old saying of "sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words will never hurt me" should apply. There are no words in this situation which would ever justify physical violence. Furthermore, all these Everest and high altitude experts (i.e., all the players in this fiasco) should know that with lack of oxygen, judgment sometimes gets clouded, and therefore, people are more likely to say and do things which are not completely rational.
Time to stop the name calling and blame gaming, and work towards a solution which will improve the situation on the mountain and hopefully prevent something like this from happening again. Then again, perhaps if you choose to climb a mountain by a route which gets this crowded, dealing with people's personalities is simply part of the risk.
Amber.C

climber
May 2, 2013 - 05:49pm PT
It's funny--I'm consistently impressed by how intelligent the average climber is when I interact with them at campgrounds, at the crags, etc. Really, genuinely smart and well-read people, and generally well-rounded intellectually.

But when I interact with them on internet forums, it's a f*#king gong show. I'm sure this applies to me as well, sadly.

*Note, this has nothing to do with opinions one way or the other on this issue*--just the inability to understand logical argumentation and make points in a cogent manner.
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
May 2, 2013 - 06:03pm PT
The interweb: the largest psychology experiment in human history.
orangesporanges

Social climber
May 2, 2013 - 07:09pm PT
I have Stewart J.

This year, the Nepalese Ministry has finally decided to recognise the Expedition Operators Association (EOA) as an official body. Much lobbying by HIMEX, Adventure Consultants and IMG has led to this. In the past, Russ brice and Guy Cotter had been heard to complain when other expeditions either

* Were willing to pay Sherpa below the 'market rate'
* Were willing to pay Sherpa above the 'market rate'

Their have been high-profile professional climbers who have felt to pay above the 'market rate' in the past. This annoys some of the commercial expedition teams, who have 'trained-up' and kitted-out Sherpas who have then gone onto work in following years to climb for someone who pays more.

This year, the big commercial companies (Expedition Operators Association) fixed prices. Sherpas carrying loads for HIMEX and Adventure Consultants this season are paid
Base Camp to C2 - 30 USD (per load)
C2 to C3 - 40 USD (per load)
C4 to the summit - 400 USD (per load)

Climbers using the fixed ropes must pay
For Everest 230 USD (per climber)
For Lhotse 150 USD (per climber)

Clients are charged around $62,000 USD to climb Everest with Russ Brice

HIMEX IFMGA/UIAGM Guides on Everest are paid well-enough. Woody for example owns a nice-enough house in Twizel, NZ. Russ Brice owns a pretty nice house in the French Alps and various investment property.

Ueli Stech makes good coin, though lives pretty modestly. Jon Griffith is paid well for his photographs, though their isn't enough work (yet), to own a fancy house.

Simone Moro has accrued assets, and sunk some of it into his Everest rescue chopper initiative. While hoping to recoup costs, this initiative is unlikely to make him big money. The service is free to all Nepali nationals. It's existence can minimize the risks of exposure to Sherpa who are often involved in rescues. Commercial Expedition Operators often boast about how they 'paid for for their own Sherpas to go rescue someone that wasn't a paid member of their expedition'.

Lots of frustration. Ueli, Jon and Simone feel they are not responsible for the building tensions. They agree with the Sherpa position on fair income-share. But don't feel that beating them-up was deserved. More than anything else, Ueli fixed the 200 odd metres of rope (which apparently offended the Sherpa) because he didn't want to be blamed by the commercial expedition operators for slowing their progress for the day.

The Sherpa tried a mob-bullied approach.

Some of the Commercial Operators, while they may not condone physical violence, have been pretty quiet about the incident when it comes to their dispatches. Their has been talk amongst Commercial Operators, to put a little pressure on the purported 'free-loaders' on the mountain who either don't pay to use the fixed ropes, or who pay, but don't use them when they've been told they 'will be allowed too'.

Territorial pizzings by the commercial operators is at the root of all this. Ueli, Simone and Jon's objection to it got a response.

The Sherpa went after the wrong guys.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 2, 2013 - 07:41pm PT
Amber.C,

Keep posting. Your contributions are worth it and are as equally valid and opinionated as anyone else here.

If you're expecting agreement with what you say, it happens on ST but not very often... It's a tough crowd but good fun.

Welcome to the gong show !
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 2, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
It is one thing for commercial groups and other climbers to get together and make their own rules for themselves. It is another thing to try to force others who are not part of these groups to follow those rules - even if doing so would be nice or useful.

Glad that you take the position that, since it is not illegal to throw rocks in the wilderness, that it is absolutely ok for people on top of mountains to throw rocks off the top onto climbers. The bigger the better!

What you describe is not what happened. ALL climbers at EBC were invited to come to the safety meeting. Climbing Everest is still dangerous. It is MORE dangerous with a bunch of people up there. Taking measures to ensure that the danger is minimized, is only reasonable.

However, if there are climbers who will not participate in safety practices, you can be sure that new regulations will be put into place. This is what happens when climbers do not regulate themselves. There is a consequence for bad behavior.

There are no words in this situation which would ever justify physical violence.

Once again, the "Ugly American", who now defines cultural practices for all people, everywhere. Taking the position that there are NO words that would justify violence means to me that you've never been in a bar late at night. You've never been in Harlem, and yelled out "ni**er". Glad to hear that there has NEVER been a fight in Camp 4.

But the key to your sentence is "justify". It would be better to say "result in", because you don't know what is going on in other peoples' heads. Escalating the situation by profanity, and calling people out, is not likely to result in a calm resolution, in Nepal, nor anywhere else.

Try this crap in France, or Russia, with the locals, and see what happens.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 2, 2013 - 08:19pm PT
orangesporanges-

Good analysis of the situation. However, I can tell you from interviews I have done with Sherpas in Kathmandu, that they are just as annoyed by the free loaders on the ropes as the owners of the guide service are. It doesn't affect their pay one way or the other, but they object because the non paying rope users crowd the scene, sometimes need rescuing for free and thereby cheat Sherpas and clients out of summits, and perhaps the most frequent annoyance is that they brag they have climbed Everest independently all the while they used Sherpa route finding and ropes, and occasionally their oxygen and expertise to survive. They are essentially getting Sherpa services for free. Given the discrepancy in wealth, Sherpas fail to appreciate the dirt bag style.

One idea bandied about, is to force the free lancers to pay for a set number of Sherpas whether they use them or not.If Steck, Moro, and Griffith had helped pay the wages of Sherpas to fix the ropes, they would have been yelled at for crossing the ropes and knocking ice down, but that would probably have been the end of it.They would have made a contribution to the general climbing community even though they choose a different climbing style.

The Sherpas are very communal. Every family takes a turn at sponsoring a communal feast in the village temple. So that everyone can participate, the cheapest meal of millet porridge was the traditional requirement and even then some families had to save for years to pay for their turn. The Sherpas say, "it's good for even the richest to eat from the hands of the poorest". The rich meanwhile, vie with each other to sponsor the more expensive festivals. Generosity is supremely valued. Needless to say, foreign people owning thousands of dollars of equipment and spending thousands on plane tickets who then want to use ropes for free, or ignore the ropes and climb without them, are seen as antisocial and selfish. It's a basic clash of values.

And that was before at least one of the three climbers in question insulted the Sherpas and their mothers.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 2, 2013 - 08:23pm PT
The Sherpa tried a mob-bullied approach.

This is a very misleading statement. It implies a thought-out plan, when there was none. The Sherpa were COMMANDED over the radio to congregate at a place, where they were to be soundly chewed out. It wasn't clear WHICH sherpa, so most available came. When a westerner came into physical contact with a sherpa, it was interpreted as an attack (which it was not), and they responded.

MisterE

Social climber
May 2, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
For sure there will be a Sherpas .vs Mountaineers video game out in the next year.
gimmeslack

Trad climber
VA
May 2, 2013 - 10:07pm PT
did i hear correctly that someone sh#t on fixed lines again - this time on everest?... sheesh.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
May 2, 2013 - 10:27pm PT
... this has turned into a case for the specialist, is dr. ruth lurking somewhere?
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
May 2, 2013 - 10:38pm PT
I can tell you from interviews I have done with Sherpas in Kathmandu, that they are just as annoyed by the free loaders on the ropes as the owners of the guide service are.

Did Steck, Moro and Griffiths use the fixed ropes in the icefall without paying for them? If so, then maybe the Sherpas have a case for being upset.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
May 2, 2013 - 11:46pm PT
Ron: I am sorry to have mislead you about the 7 Summits group on Everest.

I posted a few days back:

My friend passed on this email about recent events in Everest Base Camp:

while we were up there “7 Summits” showed up with 103 clients. ONE HUNDRED AND THREE. R U kidding?)
WOW!!!

I thought the shocking thing about 7 Summits was one group with 103 clients. I assume they have lots of guides to wipe noises and tie shoe-laces for their big-buck clients.

I have been within about 25 miles of Everest, I do respect Sherpas, and I think they were provoked into an ugly mob-scene by the Euro-climbers.

Humans are humans and Sherpas are in a lot of ways: super-human, but mob-scenes are always ugly. I believe this one gets a world record for "World's highest mob-scene."

2005 Fritz at Gokyo Ri, with Everest at top center. As close as I want...
2005 Fritz at Gokyo Ri, with Everest at top center. As close as I want to get to the zoo.
Credit: Fritz

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 3, 2013 - 12:40am PT
And now Denis Urubko has weighed in and added oil to the fire.

http://www.explorersweb.com/offsite/?source=http%3A%2F%2Furubko.blogspot.com%2F2013%2F05%2Fkhumbu-wars.html&lang=ru


I'm afraid this could turn out really badly.
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
May 3, 2013 - 12:48am PT
Steck's account:

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/mountaineering/everest-2013/Brawl-On-Everest-Ueli-Stecks-Story.html?page=5
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 3, 2013 - 12:53am PT
When a westerner came into physical contact with a sherpa, it was interpreted as an attack (which it was not), and they responded.

Ken, you are full of sh#t. You have no idea what you're talking about.

Read Simone's versions and shut the hell up. Frickin Sherpa's went wild.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130502-mount-everest-fight-simone-moro-interview-sherpas/
orangesporanges

Social climber
May 3, 2013 - 01:00am PT
Jan Are you aware that Ueli, Simone and Jon pledged to pay for use of fixed ropes and ladders if they needed to use them and that such was accepted by the commercial operations? Ueli and Simone have pledged the same in the past, and always paid.

And lets not forget that Simone has been offering free chopper rescues to all Sherpa climbing in the Himalayas for a wee-while now, with the understanding that he will not ask their 'employers' to reimburse him for it. And that Ueli has been involved in assisting Sherpas in the past, and would never ask or accept payment for it.

Ueli, Simone and Jon had already establisher their tent at Camp 3 in the days prior. They had moved up the mountain, staying clear of the fixing team until they reached a point that was directly across from their already established tent. They moved across, greeting the Sherpas as they walked towards them. In response, they got the banging and shaking of an ice axe and admonishment from a Sherpa known to be loyal to his employer.

The lads were just walking across to their tent. They had already established the camp spot and line several days before the Sherpa team arrived to fix.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 3, 2013 - 01:42am PT
Orangespororanges and bhilden-

In answer to your questions about whether Moro, Steck, and Griffith used any of the Sherpa fixed ropes and ladders, here's what Adrian Ballinger of Alpenglow has to say:

On that note, I encourage Simone Moro, Ueli Steck, and Jonathon Griffith, elite climbers I respect immensely who were unfortunately involved in the fight on Everest last week, to acknowledge the fixed ropes, ladders, and sherpa tracks that they used in going from Base Camp to Camp 2 each time they climbed on the peak. While their goal higher on the mountain may have been free of fixed ropes and supplemental oxygen (and therefore more pure to many at home), they, like all the other climbers here, certainly hugely benefited from fixed ropes and sherpa work in the icefall, and most likely could not have achieved their light-and-fast style of climbing without this huge amount of sherpa work and rope fixing. From talking to sherpa here who are still on the edge about last week's incident, acknowledgement of this assistance by the professional climbers would go a long way to mending the feelings of sherpa that some western climbers take advantage of their effort without acknowledgement or reward. It will not change the unacceptable behavior of last week, but it may help the future collaboration of sherpa and foreign climbers.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
May 3, 2013 - 02:17am PT
I haven't read any accounts of the event. I'm still siding with the guys who were not using Sherpas or guides and all that other bullsh#t. Ignorant? Idiot? perhaps. But climbers, as opposed to guided clients and their employees, have priority. I could give a sh#t about borders, governments and jurisdictions. Climbing is climbing.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 3, 2013 - 02:34am PT
The tragedy of this situation is that the three western guys involved are basically good human beings who screwed up in ways they didn't even realize given the cultural differences. Moro in particular seems to be a hothead and to have a really big heart at the same time. I believe him when he says that if he had not forgiven and embraced the head Sherpa who caused the problem in front of the Nepali army officers, those Sherpas would be in jail.

However, the more elite climbers start to pitch in to dis the Sherpas and defend their own rights to go anywhere anytime, the worse the situation will get. Steck in his interview with Outside made the following statement:

"These guys make a lot of money. Of course it’s hard and dangerous work, but Sherpas are the rich people in Nepal. If you make so much money you can somehow lose reality."

He also states:

" I mean, we pay a lot of money to be there, so why should I not be allowed to climb?"

Apparently, he doesn't see the contradiction.
...................................................

My favorite comment from the readers of that article was a MaxMogren who made this reply:

This prompts the obvious question of who is truly more out of touch with reality: the Sherpas, the "Stecks", or the Schmucks.I think the take home lessons here are threefold: 1) avoid crowded mountains, especially "Everest" 2) while flaunting your Western wealth and ecologically unsustainable penchant for adventure travel, don't call the head honcho anywhere -- including the lead Sherpa on Everest -- a "motherf*#*er", 3) exploiting the natural wonders of our lovely planet inevitably leads to backlash and localism. I hope this event scares a few of the unworthy Schmucks away from Sagarmatha.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
May 3, 2013 - 02:58am PT
Being a Sherpa is probably safer than working in a meat packing plant in Alabama or a manufacturing plant in China or whatever so whatever. I'm sure they are more or less great guys but I don't see why they have some moral authority on a mountain.
geo_nutt

Gym climber
the big bang
May 3, 2013 - 03:21am PT
While the situations are not the same there seems to be some pretty striking parallels to the group in Peru.

First world problems in third world places... All i know is I'm thankful I don't make t-shirts in Bangladesh and will enjoy another day climbing in Fontainebleau hoping not to create an international incident with the French! I got to go weewee!
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 3, 2013 - 04:07am PT
..we immediately climbed Alpine style, without a rope, 100 meters to the left of them. They threw a piece of ice at us to scare us. But we didn't react. We continued climbing to the left of them.


If I'd be solo'ing at that altitude and anyone (local, black, white, rich, poor) would throw ice at me, I'd probably have some choice words for them as well ...



Also quoted from Simone Moro's interview:
Listen, I've been coming here 21 years. I built with my own money a school for 396 Sherpa children. I paid for the education of three different Sherpa kids. I brought my own helicopter here to do rescues for free for all Sherpas. The foreigners have to pay. So I am the last person who should be accused of not having a love for Sherpas.

[The lead sherpa] was sitting in his tent because he was getting a hard time from their leader, who said he was wrong and he was violent and so on. I went to him, I shook his hand, and I embraced him-the same person who 24 hours before wanted to kill me. And I told him, we are lucky, because you didn't kill me, and I didn't react. I have nothing against you. I hope it was a bad day for you. But I don't want to make any legal action. I could send a lot of people to prison. But I decided to show to everybody that I don't hate anybody, and I don't want to destroy the life of any young stupid Sherpa.

Moro solving this sh#t, 2013-style.
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 3, 2013 - 04:36am PT
"These guys make a lot of money. Of course it’s hard and dangerous work, but Sherpas are the rich people in Nepal. If you make so much money you can somehow lose reality."

He also states:

" I mean, we pay a lot of money to be there, so why should I not be allowed to climb?"

Apparently, he doesn't see the contradiction.

Jan, I don't see the contradiction either, because you've ripped those quotes out of context. Making so much money (or trying to make so much money) that you are ultimately driven to violence and hate is something very different from what Ueli is doing.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 3, 2013 - 04:54am PT
To me Ueli is saying that because he paid a lot of money to be there, he should be able to do what he wants. It's a little bit like some of my students who occasionally try to tell me, "I paid my tuition money, I warmed my seat, I expect an A".

Then he says that the Sherpas should accomodate people like him and not complain because they're richer than other Nepalese.

What it seems to me he's saying, (and maybe not even aware of the implications) is that it's ok for him to throw his money around but the Sherpas should be grateful and humble for theirs. It comes across as very paternalistic and colonialistic frankly, which is especially disappointing coming from a Swiss. If you read the Everest literature, the Sherpas loved the Swiss in comparison to the British because the Swiss treated them as equals, Lambert and Tenzing Norgay, becoming great friends in 1952. As a result, the Sherpas really hoped that it would be the Swiss who first climbed Everest.
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 3, 2013 - 05:32am PT

What it seems to me he's saying, (and maybe not even aware of the implications) is that it's ok for him to throw his money around but the Sherpas should be grateful and humble for theirs. It comes across as very paternalistic and colonialistic frankly, which is especially disappointing coming from a Swiss.


I re-read what Ueli said and he does say that he has the right to go up the hill because he paid for his permit.

However, I don't see him say or imply that the Sherpa's should be grateful and humble.

He's saying that they should NOT resort to mob-violence, and he's saying that this violence is partly caused by money, but he's not telling anybody to be humble or grateful.


He doesn't ask the Sherpa's to accomodate him, he just asks them not to act so f*#king medieval.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 3, 2013 - 10:40am PT
WTF, Jan, are you the Sherpa's frickin attorney? What a load of crap.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 3, 2013 - 11:57am PT
Think about what the opposite of mob violence is and I think you will come up with adjectives, like calm / passive, accepting, quiet, humble, and grateful - the traditional attitudes of Sherpas toward climbers. That is medieval - knowing one's place in society and accepting it. The messy part is when aspirations rise and there is no modern means of adjudication. Then you get mob action which pretty much characterizes all of Nepalese society right now. People got rid of the royal family by hundreds of thousands of them protesting in the streets for months, and some dying for the cause, not by being quiet. They got the limited form of democracy they have now after ten years of a bloody people's rebellion.

I've stated many times, it is most unfortunate that these three climbers were the catalyst for this transformation. They made some big mistakes in terms of the local culture but did not deserve what happened. They became scape goats for a lot of other frustrations. Things will never be the same; a major turning point has been reached. This was the equivalent of throwing tea in Boston harbor.

I am an advocate for Sherpas since I know them better than all but a handful of other westerners. I speak the Sherpa language, and I've been friends with them and observing and interviewing them now since 1974. If I've learned anything in all those years of studying one of the world's 20 poorest countries, it's that the world is the way it is, not the way we would like it to be.

Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 3, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
The solution is that no one should be allowed on Everest without a Nepali guide. Problem solved. Everest is a tourist attraction, not a real mountaineering goal - except for the weirdos who want to set the guinness record for climbing it blindfolded with both hands tied behind their back, etc.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 3, 2013 - 12:34pm PT
Ive heard many a person here on this site talk about how the Indians were robbed of their culture and lands here. In many ways that is 100% correct. And it is thought of as a rather shamefull aspect of the past. YET when it comes to some mountain that is a prized climb,,all is justified right!?? No matter the resulting ill affects on the indigenous people..Sound familiar?


And i assume that "mother-f#cking" is NOT something youd say to those that take the language a bit more literal eh?
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 3, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
Thanks for the perspective, Jan.

--

Don Paul,

Everest is a tourist attraction, not a real mountaineering goal

I'm not so sure about that:





Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
May 3, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Thanks for your perspectives Orle and Jan TashiDelek.
Don't forget the Kangschung face where Sherpas don't go
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 3, 2013 - 01:42pm PT
Listen, I've been coming here 21 years. I built with my own money a school for 396 Sherpa children. I paid for the education of three different Sherpa kids.

I brought my own helicopter here to do rescues for free for all Sherpas. The foreigners have to pay. So I am the last person who should be accused of not having a love for Sherpas.

I see!

So what he is saying is that he has paid them off, so he should be able to do whatever he wants.

By the way, any of you purchased a helicopter recently?
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 3, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
Being a Sherpa is probably safer than working in a meat packing plant in Alabama

Which says to me that you know nothing about either. Not to mention that if a person is injured in Alabama, they are covered by Work Comp. The Sherpa is SOL.

but then, since you haven't actually read any of the accounts, and are only posting on the basis of stereotypes and bias, why not?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
May 3, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
I need a Russ summary....
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
May 3, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
Again, appreciation for your staying on with this, Jan...your commentary has conferred a great measure of scrutiny and understanding to the issue...
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
May 3, 2013 - 02:58pm PT
Denis Urubko Wrote about it....

http://urubko.blogspot.com/2013/05/khumbu-wars.html

From the several years spent on expeditions, I have taken out firm belief what to solve any conflict on a route by means of force - is useless. Finally the innuendo will pour out in problems for both all) parties. To understand, who and as beginnings the first, who is «more to the right» and who was «guilty» will not turn out.
On the other hand, sherpas as I saw, often lose self-control, and the first rush in fight, begin aggression, catch at the weapon. So occurred IN ALL cases when I became the witness or the participant of oppositions between Nepaleses and persons of other nationalities.

Golden understanding of situation right here

All the rest is impregnated by money. About money as it is paradoxical will sound, group Moro-Steck-Griffit had been broken. Because behind the back of that sirdar, that has begun the conflict, there were uncountable dollars of commercial groups of clients, for which the line of cords was fixing. It (together with the aforesaid) has given the chance to develop the conflict. And in that plane, whence to pull out a situation became impossible. Hundreds pseudo-climbers which have paid money for road to top of the Everest, stood up for in one hundred sherpas, got a false idea offended.
It is a stick about two ends. In consciousness sherpas for a long time already there is a stereotype what exactly they and are the present climbers. On which favour crowds of the collectors, ready to pay money for possibility to become the first «…-ner», «the person with …», «the person without …» «…-sual», «… times in … days» depend. Yes let them! But while so occurs, all these pseudo-heroes should be in slavery at masters of the situation, sherpas. And to suffer any spittles and smiles behind the back. Thus, that in the person will smile so widely, the bank account of the client how much allows. Instead of will pay this - please! Always there will be another, ready to fork up.

And in two days, approaching to Base camp, near one of tents I have met two sherpas which were selflessly wetted, having stuck out genitalsin in front of group the foreigners in five meters from, by all kind showing winners. A pier, also what you to us can do?! One word - pigs.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 3, 2013 - 05:14pm PT
Again, appreciation for your staying on with this, Jan...your commentary has conferred a great measure of scrutiny and understanding to the issue...

I agree wholeheartedly Jennie.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 3, 2013 - 05:15pm PT
just wait till some "guide" shows up for the NOSE with 100 clients LMAO!

THEN youll will see some "chyt"!
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 3, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
I would be the first to applaud what Moro has done for Sherpas and it isn't just a matter of money. Getting anything done in Nepal involves lots of time and effort because of maddening bureaucratic and logistical hassles. In the end, the Sherpa people will remember this about him and say, he's emotional, he curses, but he's got a big heart, and most of them will be very sorry this happened to him.

One of the problems I can see on Everest is the young age of the Sherpa guys involved. In a village situation, the elders step into a fight to mediate. This is after the women have separated the antagonists. Normally Sherpas get confrontational only when they've been drinking and mostly this consists of shouting threats at each other while women hang on their arms and beg them to desist. They could of course break free if they wanted to. Fortunately, since there were no elders present, Melissa Arnot was there to play that role on Everest.

I'm sure the next step is more regulations about the south face as the guide agencies and Sherpas cooperate to put pressure on the Nepalese government. Eventually though, the guide agencies themselves will be under pressure from the Sherpas to pay more and raise comfort levels. The hapless Nepalese government will be in the middle, but eventually come down on the side of the Sherpas. That however, is years away. One thing that will aid this process however, is the coming shortage of Sherpas as more and more get educated and do other work. Already there are a few other ethnic groups who work on the mountains but they do not have the unique physiology of the Sherpas or their experience of altitude and cold. Given the amount of money involved, they will try however, and we can expect many more indigenous fatalities in the process.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
May 3, 2013 - 07:24pm PT
Jan rules. She is so smart, worldly and informed that it is a joy to read her words. Rich Goldstone, Clint Cummings and a few others have the same thing going.

Thanks Jan!





BTW, one of the big issues is that nearly everyone feels like sh#t once they get above 22,000-23,000'. Coughing, wheezing, sucking O2, lethargigic, not hungry, etc etc. So folks are already on edge cause their bodies are telling their minds to piss off. This is why so many of those other Everest and K2 expeditions have otherwise calm, friendly, fun loving white dudes trying to whack each other in the heads with ice axes. Read some of the literature or talk to anyone who's ever been on an expedition. Same-same, but ugly!
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
May 3, 2013 - 08:06pm PT
Camp 2 and the Lhotse Face above...

Alan Arnett
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
May 4, 2013 - 12:03am PT
Taking charge
Taking charge
Credit: S Venables
Calling the Tibetans bluff after they stole my socks
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 4, 2013 - 12:27am PT
It always helps to be in the position of moral authority.

Either you're very tall or those Tibetans have very stunted growth.

And out of curiosity, did you ever get your socks back?
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
May 4, 2013 - 10:05am PT
Jan im only a six footer. so yes Tibetians are short in Kharta.
and since i had ten pairs of socks and they had none i ended up bartering for yak bells etc. cheers and thanks for your knowledge!
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 4, 2013 - 10:17am PT
I thought Stewart, since you mentioned the Kangshung Face previously, that the theft probably happened in Kharta. They're kind of known for that even among Sherpas. I'll bet their average height has declined since 1959 because of lowered nutrition when the border was sealed and the major trade route from Nepal was destroyed.

It's interesting how things go in cycles. Isolated communities when first opened up often have a once- in- a- lifetime, grab- what- you- can- attitude. Later, they realize there's more to come and more to be made by accommodating. Still later, it seems from the recent Everest episode, a new phase is entered when they try to regain control and a still bigger portion of the wealth.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 4, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
Why is it so hard for some of you to admit the Sherpa's might have really screwed up? They are human beings, not mythical creatures.

Jan has made her decision, regardless of the facts.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 4, 2013 - 12:59pm PT
hhmmmm Jan,, or crankster,,, Jan,, or crankster....decisions decisions...
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
May 4, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
I have to kind of agree with Crankster on this one. Sure, there are cultural difference between the sherpas and westerners, but regardless of what happened, violence is not the answer. The sherpas screwed up by resorting to violence. That's the bottom line. You can make up all the excuses you want, but that's it.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
May 4, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
I think we should send Blue Ring over there to arbitrate.
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
May 4, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
I suggest your criticism of Jan is inapt, Crankster. Perhaps re-reading the thread will convey notions you overlooked or failed to light upon.

Jan expressed in the beginning that the assault by Sherpas was a huge mistake. Conveying insight into why they lost control is not advocating they were right in attacking the Europeans ...or proposing Sherpa own the moral high ground in every dispute with western climbers.

Jan's study and familiarity... of and with the Sherpa ...qualify her in reviewing the events and attaching cultural insight. Please don't intimate she is playing cozy with Sherpa offense at the expense of western "innocence"in this dispute.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 4, 2013 - 02:01pm PT
FISTICUFFS ON SUPERTOPO! Same as it ever was...
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
May 4, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
Kangschung face approach
Kangschung face approach
Credit: Paul Teare
Dealing with the cunnning Tibetians was good mental preparation for climbing the east face with four people.
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
May 4, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
Jan, curious, what is your background? From reading your posts over the years I gather you live in Okinawan now, and lived in Nepal earlier? Just my guess. I'd like to know more. What do you do for a living in such exotic places?
Bargainhunter

climber
May 4, 2013 - 02:48pm PT
The Sherpas did screw up. Mob mentality trying to smash people's heads with rocks?!??!!...Just for climbing past them on the designated Sherpa line fixing day? Sounds like a petty, immature argument that escalated into inexcusable nearly fatal mob violence. Fortunately the woman was there to prevent the lynchings and murders of some fine alpinists.

Where were the sidars in controlling them? Any leader or member of a guided group there should have the backbone to stand up to this and demand to have every Shepra involved fired. Anyone clipping onto a fixed rope up there now directly plays a role in condoning that violence. But I doubt the Western guides and their clients are about to do what is morally right and leave the mountain in protest and shortchange their pocketbooks or their summit dreams of glory.

I wonder when the Nepalese government will nationalize the guiding on the peak and set their own terms?

What a stupid drama...I cannot believe so many people sign up on these guided tours to clip into a fixed rope and jumar up the mountain. Hanging out in basecamp while the sherpas unwind spool after spool of rope for you to jug? Sorry friends, but who is attracted to this type of mountain activity? Plenty of people with cash to spare evidently....pathetic.

I'm on Ueli side. Here's the link:

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/mountaineering/everest-2013/Brawl-On-Everest-Ueli-Stecks-Story.html

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 4, 2013 - 03:42pm PT
Why is it so hard for some of you to admit the Sherpa's might have really screwed up? They are human beings, not mythical creatures.

Jan has made her decision, regardless of the facts.

I think that if you were on an ice route, in sketchy conditions where several have died before, doing something technical, and I came along, and in spite of your repeated requests not to get on top of us, I did anyway, and knocked ice down one top of you, when we got off the slope, when I came over and told you that you were a bunch of motherf*ckers for being in my way...........

I would expect you to give me a knuckle sandwich (not just the *threat* of a knuckle sandwich, which is what happened, here)

But apparently because they are just the "help", and not "real" climbers, they aren't entitled to the same emotions that most climbers would feel...
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 4, 2013 - 06:39pm PT
For rockermike- I am an anthropologist. My research specialties are the Sherpa people and the cultural ecology of the central Himalaya. I've worked on a couple of foreign aid projects in Nepal for the Swiss and New Zealand governments. The latter includes the original drafts for the Sherpa history and culture sections of the Sagarmatha/Mt. Everest National Park guidebook and the original designs for the Sherpa museum in the park. Mostly though, I've made my living teaching Anthropology and Asian Studies to U.S. military and government employees overseas, for the University of Maryland, first in Europe and for the past 30 years, in Okinawa. I go back and forth to Nepal every couple of years. One of my main interests is the impact of tourism on the Sherpas.

Dover

Trad climber
New England
May 4, 2013 - 07:08pm PT
Jan,

I just wanted to say "Thank You" for all your insights. I've really learned a lot about cultural differences from your posts. It is so easy to step into 'stuff' when you are outside the culture.

I also appreciate your advocacy of the Sherpas and their struggle. From your telling of the story, I can readily understand their perspective. It is a valid one. You are a great friend to that people.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 4, 2013 - 07:12pm PT
Thanks dover, I try.

For the Record - one more time.

I do not condone violence by anybody!

I am a social scientist and my task is to record what exists and try to figure out why. Of course I have my personal preferences and it's no secret that I admire the Sherpas. I am very well aware also that they use the threat of group violence to get people to conform their behavior to the group norm. Traditionally they lived in a situation where there was no government and no police force. Community pressure was all they had to maintain order. Even today when they're up on the mountain, beyond the reach of the police, that's all they have.

I don't believe they intended to kill Moro, Steck, and Griffith on their sacred mountain. I do believe they intended to let them know that all of the Sherpa climbers, not just a few, found their disrespect intolerable. They wanted Moro on his knees to apologize for insulting them and their mothers as such curses are taken much more seriously in their culture than ours. I am sure they also intended to scare the wits out of the three and chase them off the mountain which they did. The only thing they did wrong from their own point of view was draw blood after being jostled by a hapless observer who led them to believe there would be a physical fight. Drawing blood, even when killing an animal is considered very bad.

I think the Sherpas judged it pretty well from all the various sources I have read. The majority opinion among Sherpas for sure and the people there to climb the mountain, who are the source of their livelihood, is that the three western climbers used the Sherpa paths, ladders, and ropes through the Khumbu icefall multiple times and then ignored the Sherpa's safety and honor by tromping past them while they laid more fixed line. As long as they used the fixed ropes down below they were not doing a completely independent climb as claimed and were subject to the same rules of the mountain as everybody else, and their claims to total independence, like so many before them, were deemed hypocritical.

I dare say if the three climbers involved were rich noobs rather than world famous mountaineers, most people here would side with the Sherpas which represents yet more hypocrisy it seems to me. In the end, the way I see it, the three alpinists involved have brought yet more regulation to the mountain and only strengthened the Sherpa's position. While true climbers will deplore what Everest has become, it is what it is, and the actions of Moro, Steck, and Griffith have narrowed the possibilities for independent climbers even further. I am of course interested in other interpretations.
adatesman

climber
philadelphia, pa
May 4, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
From a mostly lurker, Jan- you're awesome. :)
kolos

climber
Hungary
May 4, 2013 - 09:43pm PT
Jan,

First of all thanks for the clear statement about the disapproval of the violence. Unfortunately many messages posted by you seemed to me as a justification of these acts.

I don't believe they intended to kill Moro, Steck, and Griffith on their sacred mountain. I do believe they intended to let them know that all of the Sherpa climbers, not just a few, found their disrespect intolerable. They wanted Moro on his knees to apologize for insulting them and their mothers as such curses are taken much more seriously in their culture than ours. I am sure they also intended to scare the wits out of the three and chase them off the mountain which they did. The only thing they did wrong from their own point of view was draw blood after being jostled by a hapless observer who led them to believe there would be a physical fight. Drawing blood, even when killing an animal is considered very bad.

One paragraph and many things to react on:
Maybe they did not want to kill the 3 climbers, but throwing big stones into a tent and the alleged pen knife usage does not really support this point. These acts had the potential to get very serious or fatal. Thank God, the brave woman was around and your hypothesis was not tested.

Disrespect. I think this is really the point. Or rather one or couple of hurted egos. You immediately jump in the middle of the scene and start that the western climbers used ugly words on the Sherpas and their mothers. Yes, that is true. But why??? As far as I see this was triggered by the Sherpa leader who abseiled on the 3 climbers who were on an icefall without belay. How would you react??? This was also a very dangerous maneuver which could have been lethal.
The next question: Had the 3 climbers the right to be there on that very day? I think the answer is yes. They had the same rights on the mountain as the Sherpas: all of them paid a price for Nepal to have a go on the highest mountain of the world. The Sherpas were there because the expeditions which employed them paid for the mountain. Actually Moro and co. already established a tent in 3rd camp so as I understood they were well ahead of the commercial expeditions. Their route did not interfere with the Sherpas until that point. Since they wanted to go to their tent they had to cross the fixing line. Apparently they did this with great care and nobody was hurt. Except the ego of the leader who probably felt the the fast-moving westerners abash him in front of the other Sherpas.

I think the Sherpas judged it pretty well from all the various sources I have read. The majority opinion among Sherpas for sure and the people there to climb the mountain, who are the source of their livelihood, is that the three western climbers used the Sherpa paths, ladders, and ropes through the Khumbu icefall multiple times and then ignored the Sherpa's safety and honor by tromping past them while they laid more fixed line. As long as they used the fixed ropes down below they were not doing a completely independent climb as claimed and were subject to the same rules of the mountain as everybody else, and their claims to total independence, like so many before them, were deemed hypocritical.
The usage of the Khumbu icefall "infrastructure" is a big question. I think that the 3 climbers paid for this part since this is essential to get into position on a certain part of the mountain. If they did not then this can be criticized (nobody came forward with this as far as I know) but no way can be a justification of the further acts.
Did they ignore the Sherpas safety or honor? I think the Sherpas safety and honor was 1000 other times and 1000 times more ignored and compromised during the Everest climbs. We all know cases when these brave men were sent to drag down some halfdead millionaire as#@&%e westerner from the mountain who got in that position because of their inabilities and the bad judgment of the commercial expedition bosses. And are you really sure that this was the first time that swear words were used at Sherpas and their mothers? It is a shame but I am quite sure that this happens on a daily basis in the camps. Still we do not see a mob with covered faces to search for their truth.
No, I think this is really the "bad apple" case. It is sad to say but nothing extraordinary happened on the mountain that day. Nothing which does not happen 1000 times in a season. A couple of hurt ego drove a lot of other companion crazy using his power and position. I think a disservice to the normal majority if we try to explain this situation with cultural differences.

bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
May 4, 2013 - 10:37pm PT
I keep hearing everyone talking about how the sherpa's safety was put at risk. In reading the accounts of Moro and Steck, the sherpas, while tied into the ropes on the Lohtse face swung ice axes at both Steck and Moro while they were climbing unroped.

What's that all about? No mob mentality there. Just an upset sherpa who was trying to knock an unroped climber off a 50-degree ice face.

And, couldn't you make the point that if the sherpas are going to make a living by being paid by Westerner's money that the sherpas should make an attempt to understand the culture of those who are paying them?
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 4, 2013 - 10:50pm PT
Beg on your knees for forgiveness or we might kill you. Give me a f*#king break. Some of these lunatic Sherpa's need to go to jail. I'm sick of all this apologizing for them.

Jan, you're starting to make me ill. Ken already has.

No f*#king ice rained down on the poor, innocent Sherpa's. They got their pride and honor hurt, not their bodies. If they don't like it up there they should get a job doing something else.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
May 4, 2013 - 11:00pm PT
Sorry crankster, but Jan has deep credibility, is well known, and you hide who you are and have zero credibility. Not just because she is an intelligent and accomplished anthropologist and you are an anonymous annoying inarticulate douchbag. Actually, in reading your posts you have less than zero credibility. You come off sounding like a young kid in his moms basement. Not at all grown up or intelligent. Waving your arms around to get attention.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 4, 2013 - 11:04pm PT
Go f*#k yourself couchpotato
couchmaster

climber
pdx
May 4, 2013 - 11:04pm PT
Douchster said:
"Go f*#k yourself couchpotato"

LOL!! See what I mean. RIGHT ON CUE! You are letting your inner petulant child out I see. ROTFLMOA!!
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 4, 2013 - 11:11pm PT
You sided with the Sherpa's immediately, Couchpotato. Doubt you've ever done any climbing except out of bed. Out in the real world, dickhead, ice and rocks get knocked onto fellow climbers all the time. Sure, you yell at them, perhaps give them hell in the parking lot.
But you don't have a license to attack them with a mob and make them beg forgiveness, threatening to kill them with rocks and ice ices.

You are a first rate idiot. I've read your posts and you make Ron sound like a genius.
Betelnut

Mountain climber
So. California
May 4, 2013 - 11:29pm PT
Do people like Couchmaster, Jan, et all, read any of the 3 climbers accounts of the incident? It does seem like they have made up their minds based on their overall view of the Sherpa people and not what actually happened on the mountain in this incident.
abrams

Sport climber
May 4, 2013 - 11:46pm PT
Never been to that altitude but does it change the moronic work of pounding in snow stakes and clipping rope (fixing) into rocket science?

The slope has bulges but looks like a highway. Lots of room for two teams in parallel.

Credit: abrams







Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 4, 2013 - 11:55pm PT
That photo is from the western cwym just above camp 2 which is on the flat. The Lhotse face is the steep one rising to the far right of the photo. It is not uncommon for people to be sweating in the cwym and being blown about by cold winds further up.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 5, 2013 - 12:04am PT
Credit: crankster

Wrong, Jan. The photo is not on the flat, but on the steeper slope below Camp 3.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 5, 2013 - 12:07am PT
Then how come it looks so much steeper on the second photo posted?
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 5, 2013 - 12:15am PT
You're looking straight at a slope, always looks steeper. Been on many a climb saying " yikes, that looks steep". Thankfully, when you get to the base it's not as dire.

First photo was not my post, btw.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 5, 2013 - 12:22am PT
Sorry. I just corrected that. Unfortunately I don't know off hand exactly what the angle of the Lhotse wall is. bhilden claimed in his post above that it is 50 degrees.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 5, 2013 - 12:46am PT
Apparently they did this with great care and nobody was hurt.

So let's see if I understand your logic: If I take a gun, and with great care fire it at your wife and children so as to hit all around them within a foot, without any injury whatsoever, you'd have no problem.

After all, you are arguing, no harm, no foul?

But then what is this argument about abseiling? Also no one hurt.

So what is your logic?

And are you really sure that this was the first time that swear words were used at Sherpas and their mothers? It is a shame but I am quite sure that this happens on a daily basis in the camps.

So you are basing your argument on speculation based on....what? Speculation? Your expectation of how you would act in treating Sherpa?

I'm fairly sure, based on my personal knowledge of a number of Everest climbers, that if you treated your Sherpa that way, daily, that OTHER CLIMBERS would give you a learning experience.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 5, 2013 - 12:52am PT
This attempt to portray Sherpa as attempting murder by swinging axes at, abseiling onto these poor unroped climbers is disgusting. Trolls, of course, which speaks only of the posters involved, who typically are afraid of putting their names to their opinions.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 5, 2013 - 12:57am PT
I'm done with you, Ken, brave soul with the last name "M". You are a blockhead.

You must have wanted to be a Sherpa in a previous life. Troll, indeed.

Your (il)logic: all 3 climbers are lying. All witnesses are lying. Sherpa was cussed at which justifies violence, probably murder unless someone interceded. Frickin fool.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 5, 2013 - 01:05am PT
And you Crankster wish to free the enslaved from their cultural and vocational bonds by wishing if they would just see how freedom to do what ever the hell they want can be... freeing, or something...

F*#k working for a living, we're FREE ! Because we now only have to justify ourselves by CLIMBING STUFF !

The wife and kids will be so happy we've achieved emancipation from paying the bills and all it took was doing whatever the f*#k we wanted.

I like your worker's paradise !
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 5, 2013 - 01:06am PT
Right on (hic), Jim!
vlani

Trad climber
mountain view, ca
May 5, 2013 - 01:13am PT
The opinion of probably the strongest high altitude climber alive:
http://urubko.blogspot.com/2013/05/khumbu-wars.html
Sorry his English is far from smooth.

Denis is not that tolerant as his Western European friends, and has been into fist fight with sherpas#@&%es before. The 'dangerous' slope is 35 degrees, with lots of caverns and snow patches. Reasonable skilled people do not use ropes there and the dander of falling ice or rock is null - it just does not fall.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 5, 2013 - 01:15am PT
Crankster,

You come off as a classic North American climber who thinks that going climbing equals personal legitimacy.

Climbers have always been their own worst enemies by just walking into someone else's patch and acting like jerks. There never had to be things like the Access Fund until climbers made themselves pests in the areas they loved the most.

So (hic) yourself, except you spelled it wrong. You may not see yourself as a hick but other people's perception is something you can't manage or control personally.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 5, 2013 - 01:22am PT
Jim, I'll try to set aside the fact that you're obnoxious. But, what is your argument? You're not making any sense.
You, along with many on this thread, obviously don't believe that a few Sherpa's might have gone nuts. It's just not possible, according to you.

But you are wrong. It happened and no amount of romantic harping about the poor Sherpa's is going to change it.

Grow up.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 5, 2013 - 01:23am PT
Thanks Jim.

crankster nice to read about how well you know Jim Brennan.
<end sarcasm>
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 5, 2013 - 01:24am PT
Jim B fer the slam-dunk...
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 5, 2013 - 01:29am PT
Oh man, Ron is staking his claim with the Sniveling Sherpa Apologist's!! What a team. Drinks for everyone!

Sherpa's can do no wrong because they live there....oh, I get it.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 5, 2013 - 01:32am PT
Reasonable skilled people do not use ropes there and the dander of falling ice or rock is null - it just does not fall.

Sherpa Mingma Dorje is killed on the Lhotse Face by falling ice

So, Vlani, you and your ignorant hero should climb back into your armchairs.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 5, 2013 - 01:34am PT
Crankster,

I never said it's impossible for Sherpas or anyone else to go nuts and do the wrong thing.

There is no excuse for violence but it certainly ain't going out of style as a form of communicating when reason takes a back seat to commerce.

abrams

Sport climber
May 5, 2013 - 01:38am PT
The sahibs had HD video gear. Very likely in the process of peddling it to the highest bidder for a reality show.

Video of Sherpa yelling, "No as#hole! You cannot step over my rope to your tent!" will be the money shot if it exists. Hope it does not. To horrible.

Credit: abrams








Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
May 5, 2013 - 09:25am PT
Wow what a bunch a lip flippers Quite Fun to read! Considering most of you have never even put on crampons .
The closest you all get to a big mountain is driving by Mount Shasta going to visit your aunt in Portland
That's right you are rock climbers , Specialists, With no real earned opinions for big mountains!
In other words simply Monday morning quarterbacking!
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 5, 2013 - 10:43am PT
OK, Tami, I don't know Jim B. and he's probably a nice guy.

Maybe there's a rush to judgement on all sides. Things will sort themselves out as climbers return home. Jonathan Griffith's video should be illuminating, if he was filming at the time.

One thing for sure; there are too many people on the South Col route and bad things are bound to happen on occasion.

PS: stu, I was putting on crampons when you were putting on diapers.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 5, 2013 - 10:54am PT
whut u tawkin bout Stewie! Ive done da direkkt on ROUND TOP! Sure it took me a while to realize the crampons were on backwards..
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
May 5, 2013 - 11:53am PT
Stewart said:

The closest you all get to a big mountain is driving by Mount Shasta going to visit your aunt in Portland
That's right you are rock climbers , Specialists, With no real earned opinions for big mountains!
In other words simply Monday morning quarterbacking!


Well played; that is a deft use of the “Greater Ranges” Ploy, as described by Tom Patey.

For this ploy some previous Himalayan experience is essential; it may involve a tourist weekend in Katmandu, a transcendental meditation with the Maharishi. Once the aura has formed, you can hardly go wrong. You can patrol the foot of Stanage with all the authority of an Everester. No one expects you to climb. It is enough that you retain a soft spot for your humble origins.

“This is all very different from the South Col!” you can remark crisply, as you watch bikini-clad girls swarming over the rock like chameleons. Any off-the-cuff comment of this nature goes down well, and gives them something to talk about after you have moved on. As I said before, nobody really expects a man who has survived the South Col to risk his neck on a paltry outcrop.

..."But let us keep our sense of proportion, and remember that British crags are not an end in themselves but a Springboard to the Greater Ranges. The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton! That is something we must all remember..."
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
May 5, 2013 - 12:22pm PT
Sounds like a case of dealing with immigrants stealing your jobs. Maybe they need a Labour Union.

Nepal has loads of Maoists. I saw a huge demonstration of Maoist women when I was last there.

Maoist Demo in K'du
Maoist Demo in K'du
Credit: John Duffield



Tami

Social climber
Canada
May 5, 2013 - 12:50pm PT
OK, Tami, I don't know Jim B. and he's probably a nice guy.

I've known him for 35 years and he's most excellent.


For my part, I think everyone on & off this thread, Sherpas included, need to purchase a copy of my hilarious tome "EVEREST THE ULTIMATE HUMP"

I din't predict the donnybrook on the South Col route but I daresay someone has been up there in a full size hamster suit.

Again, respect to Jan for her notes on this thread. She has experience nobody's gonna get goin' over there climbin' rocks, ice 'n' snow.

And, yeah, I have worn crampons.

abrams

Sport climber
May 5, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
Patey's 'greater ranges ploy' ! +1

Just 2 kinds of people in the world who have worn crampons. Those that are dead and those who are still alive or something like that.

Rainier north east side above camp shurman, arrested the climber behind me on our rope of 3 as a crampon rolled off her boot. Not a big tug as she started skating down the slope but got my attention fast enough.

Cut 4 feet off the end of the rope. Yanked the core strands out and tied the f**k out of that old style crampon.

But it kept rolling off and you know who had to start chopping steps




some nice Everest pictures.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/everest/photo-gallery
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 5, 2013 - 03:22pm PT
One thing for sure; there are too many people on the South Col route and bad things are bound to happen on occasion.

On this, there is certainly no debate.

My buddy, who's summitted 3X, 1stN, 2,3S.....has made me quite nervous by heading up into this crazy zone.

Another buddy, whose up there now, and the lead guide for one of the big groups and one of the 4 cited for breaking up the mob scene, makes me unhappy by being in that crazy zone.

There is just no way that you can have that diverse volume of people up in that constrained area, without drama breaking out. And the potential for large disasters only increase with population size.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 5, 2013 - 03:24pm PT
I can understand a climbing guide wanting to punch their ticket on Everest, as a career move. Reasonable, and important to business success, I'd imagine.

But spending year after year up there on the upper mountain seems to be an invitation to disaster.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
May 5, 2013 - 05:14pm PT
Things much worse than getting punched happen up there.
Altitude makes you do funny things, and its different every time.
Like i said before its a pity the elite team was even on the yak route,
even if they pulled off an "alpine style" ascent, theres just too many
people around right now for it to be fair.(that means you cant touch any
fixed ropes or get any help from the crowds all around you.
Of course getting down is different, without o2 im sure youll
grab a cord going down the Hillary step!)

If you are that elite what the fruk are you doing there of all places!
They should be using there sponsorship dollars to go off piste!
and if theres not enough of an explorer in them to go off piste,
Perhaps a post-monsoon ascent of the south yak would be easier
in terms of crowding
and also being more fair to the alpine style.
By off piste i mean any route but the two yak routes where the guests go.
Perhaps the elite were acclimating for the sw face?
orle

climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 5, 2013 - 05:30pm PT
Perhaps Stewart pulled a Patey, perhaps, but he DID post THIS photo, which should probably be in the header of this thread or sommat:





kolos

climber
Hungary
May 5, 2013 - 08:20pm PT
Ken M,

So let's see if I understand your logic: If I take a gun, and with great care fire it at your wife and children so as to hit all around them within a foot, without any injury whatsoever, you'd have no problem.

After all, you are arguing, no harm, no foul?

But then what is this argument about abseiling? Also no one hurt.

So what is your logic?

There is a proverb in Hungarian (for sure there is a counterpart in English but I do not know it): All comparisons limp. I think your comparison not only limps but one leg is completely missing...
Let's take your gun example: Simone, Ueli and Jon had the gun, but they had it on their belt and had no intention to use it. They did not want to fight with anybody they only went for their camp. Not too surprising: nobody was hurt.
In case of the abseiling Sherpa (who also had the gun) the gun got out of the belt, intentionally and was shot a couple of times. He did want to have some kind of fight (verbal and potentially physical with the abseiling on the solo climbers). The result is the same: nobody was hurt (thank God!).

The result is the same... but if you do not see the difference...

So you are basing your argument on speculation based on....what? Speculation? Your expectation of how you would act in treating Sherpa?

I'm fairly sure, based on my personal knowledge of a number of Everest climbers, that if you treated your Sherpa that way, daily, that OTHER CLIMBERS would give you a learning experience.
This is quite funny since I pretty much never use swear words (one of my very few positive characteristics). I remember exactly the two times in my 38 years when I did :)
Anyway I give you the point for this. For sure Simone said such outrageous words which had never been said before...

This attempt to portray Sherpa as attempting murder by swinging axes at, abseiling onto these poor unroped climbers is disgusting. Trolls, of course, which speaks only of the posters involved, who typically are afraid of putting their names to their opinions.
What happened?
swinging axes: check
abseiling onto unroped climbers: check
throwing big stones: check
death threats: check
Apparently these things happened. I am really sorry that you did not understand my "bad apple" point. I actually have a very high esteem of the Sherpas and I am quite sure that this view is shared by the majority who now condemns the violent actions. Your view is so simple: the Sherpas are great guys (without an exception) so this could not happen or it can be justified. Do you think that my or other's esteem for the Sherpas would lower if turns out that this was triggered by a couple of bad guys? There is no nation where you cannot meet crazy, insane, ignorant, etc. people.
If you stick to the point that this was triggered by the Westerners and the Sherpa reaction was natural then actually you portray and confirm what you oppose: any hiker/climber/anybody in Nepal can garner a mob attack quite easily with a couple of bad words. I do not think that this is the situation. You really do?

If you think that there was more dangerous actions by the westerners than bad words then list them. And please compare the level of danger to the situations when the commercial expedition leaders send the Sherpas into huge storms, avalanche prone slopes, etc because of bad decisions, incompetency or negligence or business interests. Many of these brave Sherpas rest on the flanks of Everest because of these reasons - but still I have never heard about violent reactions.


crankster:
Beg on your knees for forgiveness or we might kill you. Give me a f*#king break. Some of these lunatic Sherpa's need to go to jail. I'm sick of all this apologizing for them.

Jan, you're starting to make me ill. Ken already has.

No f*#king ice rained down on the poor, innocent Sherpa's. They got their pride and honor hurt, not their bodies. If they don't like it up there they should get a job doing something else.

couchmaster:
Sorry crankster, but Jan has deep credibility, is well known, and you hide who you are and have zero credibility. Not just because she is an intelligent and accomplished anthropologist and you are an anonymous annoying inarticulate douchbag. Actually, in reading your posts you have less than zero credibility. You come off sounding like a young kid in his moms basement. Not at all grown up or intelligent. Waving your arms around to get attention.

I do not agree with the style of crankster, but find it quite pathetic when somebody (in this case couchmaster) hides behind others (Jan) back without addressing any raised point (committed and intended acts on both sides). I am sure that Jan knows 1000 times more (hell even million times more) about Sherpas than me and could give us a valuable insight into the Sherpa thinking. But if the conclusion can be interpreted that way that these actions are anthropologically can be explained and at least not partially come from a couple of bad guys then this is a big disappointment for me and changes my absolutely positive picture about the Sherpas.

I think a lot other could be said which belongs to this history: the role of the commercial expeditions (now and historically), the (lack of) knowledge of the contemporary alpine style climbing in this region, etc. But it slowly dawns on me and I have to work today...
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 5, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
Did they ignore the Sherpas safety or honor? I think the Sherpas safety and honor was 1000 other times and 1000 times more ignored and compromised during the Everest climbs. We all know cases when these brave men were sent to drag down some halfdead millionaire as#@&%e westerner from the mountain who got in that position because of their inabilities and the bad judgment of the commercial expedition bosses. And are you really sure that this was the first time that swear words were used at Sherpas and their mothers? It is a shame but I am quite sure that this happens on a daily basis in the camps. Still we do not see a mob with covered faces to search for their truth.
No, I think this is really the "bad apple" case. It is sad to say but nothing extraordinary happened on the mountain that day. Nothing which does not happen 1000 times in a season. A couple of hurt ego drove a lot of other companion crazy using his power and position. I think a disservice to the normal majority if we try to explain this situation with cultural differences.


I want to really thank kolos for his thought provoking contribution and his honesty in explaining the situation as it really is up there. To me this reinforces the idea that the Sherpas are frustrated (they are humans and not saints!) and Moro, Steck, and Griffith just happened to take the blunt of that frustration.

Even so, I thought all day about these comments and I now think it could be a combination of both maybe. The sirdar commands immense power over people's jobs and summit opportunities so I could believe that many of the Sherpas there were afraid to defy him. I could believe many covered their faces because they were ashamed to be in that group and did not wish to be identified for that reason.

One weakness I have observed in Sherpa culture is that they are reluctant to deal with someone who does not follow their values. Pacifism has its problems, and in the absence of laws, can flip over into violence sometimes. In Rolwaling many of us had trouble for years because of one bully yet the local lama always counseled patience and not calling the Nepalese police because Buddhism teaches forgiveness.

Eventually this bully accosted a trekking group manned by Khumbu Sherpas, demanding money for camping on communal property. When they refused, he overturned a large cauldron of soup on the ground just as it was ready to be served. At that point the Khumbu Sherpas gave him a good beating while the Rolwaling people stood around and smirked. The Khumbu people then told him if he ever left Rolwaling they would kill him the next time. He never left again but many Rolwaling people eventually did for various reasons, including getting away from him. In the end, he had a change of heart and became very religious and nice to everybody. However, some of his sons are still causing trouble and they have been completely ostracized by the Rolwaling community in Kathmandu where most live now. Of course it's much easier to deal with problem people in a city with police and journalists than it is an isolated mountain valley or the side of Everest

Clearly the Sherpas who seemed intent on bodily harm were bad apples, and many were probably coerced into participating, so the question is, what about the majority? Can a few bad apples really dictate to 90-95 other men? I'm still betting the majority wanted to scare the western climbers and probably chase them off the mountain until the ropes were fixed and things got out of hand.

Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
May 5, 2013 - 09:51pm PT
Some accounts claim the violence at Camp 2 commenced when a westerner, not affiliated with Simone, lunged and entangled with one of the advancing Sherpa. Simone is said to have summoned the Sherpas to a dialogue and the clutching of the Sherpa by this particular individual was the "ignition point" in the fracas.



Also I wanted to comment on the minimization of the Lhotse Face difficulty. While not formidable to world class ice climbers and mountaineers, it's still a problematic and dangerous obstacle to success. Depending on whose list you read, seven to twelve climbers have been killed on this slope...beginning with Dorje Mingma of the Swiss 1952 expedition. The angle rises from 45 to 60 degrees and falling ice and avalanches are portentous menace. And climbers walking outside their tents at Camp 3 have slipped and fallen the entire slope to the bergshrund

...this isn't the serene slog between Paradise and Camp Muir
Amber.C

climber
May 5, 2013 - 10:39pm PT
Things much worse than getting punched happen up there.
Altitude makes you do funny things, and its different every time.
Like i said before its a pity the elite team was even on the yak route,
even if they pulled off an "alpine style" ascent, theres just too many
people around right now for it to be fair.(that means you cant touch any
fixed ropes or get any help from the crowds all around you.
Of course getting down is different, without o2 im sure youll
grab a cord going down the Hillary step!)

If you are that elite what the fruk are you doing there of all places!
They should be using there sponsorship dollars to go off piste!
and if theres not enough of an explorer in them to go off piste,
Perhaps a post-monsoon ascent of the south yak would be easier
in terms of crowding
and also being more fair to the alpine style.
By off piste i mean any route but the two yak routes where the guests go.
Perhaps the elite were acclimating for the sw face?

Not to quibble, Stewart, but I was under the impression that the three were either acclimatizing or their route broke off the yak route higher up. Camp 2 (and even Camp 3) is a long way below the summit.

But otherwise I don't see what difference it makes that they are elite. They have the same right to be there based on their permit, so their "eliteness" strikes me as irrelevant.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 5, 2013 - 10:44pm PT
You're correct they have the same rights to be there and also the same obligations. Part of the obligation of using the fixed ropes, ladders, and paths through the Khumbu icefall which they did multiple times, is to stay off the slopes where the Sherpas are fixing ropes. This they did not do. Instead they climbed ropeless beside them and then across them. And why? Because they were elite enough climbers to do that. They used their elite climbing status to inconvenience the Sherpas. That's why it matters.
Amber.C

climber
May 5, 2013 - 10:47pm PT
Jan, is that obligation (to not climb on the face or bother the sherpas because they have already used the fixed ropes through the icefall) explicit somewhere? I may have missed it in this thread if it has already come up, but I don't think it is at all.

I'm not going to get involved in this again. I'm just pointing out that I don't think their elite status is meaningful. Would Stewart feel differently about the incident if 3 neophytes had somehow gotten up the Lhotse Face and done the same thing? I don't think so--if anything he would be more against them, and probably rightly so.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
May 5, 2013 - 10:55pm PT
I just don't see how climbers should have to wait for a guide's workers to rig the mountain for people who can't do it for themselves. I get that Sherpas are from the region, but there was no pre-existing high altitude climbing culture that non-native visitors have intruded upon. To the contrary, slow parties have been passed on mountains since the get go.

I also don't how anyone on that route on Everest sees an entitlement to climb without anyone above them? The whole thing has been a sh#t show for years now.







Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 5, 2013 - 11:01pm PT
Amber-

It has been discussed but is worth repeating. The chief complaint against independent climbers is that they use the facilities of the guide companies (ropes and ladders) and the hard work of the Sherpas without paying for them and then claim to have climbed Everest independently. None of those free loaders however, have ever tried to climb over the Sherpas while they were fixing rope.

The case of the three elite climbers is a little different as they evidently did pay the guiding companies their share to use the Khumbu icefall route. Implicit in this agreement is the understanding that no one interferes with the Sherpas when they are fixing ropes higher up. Only because they are elite climbers were they competent enough to be up there causing problems. Any less elite climbers trying that and the Sherpas would have had to stop fixing lines to do a rescue or body retrieval.

Unfortunately if the three had been able to do what they did without incident, there would have been others who tried the same citing their example. Some would know doubt eventually have caused an accident requiring rescue or causing injury or death to the rope fixers. What the Sherpa response to the elite three did, was ensure that nobody is going to climb next to, or over Sherpa rope fixing any time soon. I believe that making an example of the three elites and stopping this practice in its tracks was their original intention which unfortunately was marred by violence.

It has subsequently been stated that everyone climbing the mountain will have to sign a contract in the future promising not to climb where the Sherpas are fixing rope. If they do, they can be pulled off the mountain and might even find themselves in a Nepalese jail for a night or two. Although it marred their almost perfect image, I believe the Sherpas accomplished what they set out to do which was re-establish themselves as the masters of the mountain.

I know individualistic western climbers will object to that, but in Asia, the needs of the group always supercede those of the individual. In this case we are talking about the needs of the guide services, the Sherpas, their hundreds of clients, and the Nepalese government against the needs of elite climbers to do their thing. The outcome is completely predictable.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 5, 2013 - 11:05pm PT
It's about this place being a worksite until finished and the workers couldn't care less about what is permitted to whomever has a permit.

Nothing on this thread has changed my mind that this is a labour relations issue gone wrong.

Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 5, 2013 - 11:07pm PT
Amen to that!

Or in Sherpa, Sinsong!
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
May 5, 2013 - 11:13pm PT
Fair enough Jan.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
May 5, 2013 - 11:18pm PT
It's about this place being a worksite until finished and the workers could care less about what is permitted by who has a permit.


It certainly sounds like it. The only question i have is that is it a work site that impacts other peripheral citizens / clients that could be reasonably accommodated through better professional practices?

Jim, look at how the ski to die highway construction was managed during the olympics compared to that previous effort in the eighties. Hats off to Kiewit and MOTH for figuring out how to actually do their job without hardly any halt in traffic.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 5, 2013 - 11:24pm PT
Yes, Bruce !
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
May 5, 2013 - 11:44pm PT
Lhotse Face and Camp 2
Lhotse Face and Camp 2
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 6, 2013 - 12:30am PT
And finally, we get a Sherpa version, this one from the Sherpa owner of Himalayan Ascent who was there.



A comment on the brawl incident 05-05-13 10AM

by Lhakpa Sherpa

http://himalayanascent.com/live-blog.html


We generally live by the climbers’ code of “what goes on the mountain, stays on the mountain” but since spending the last few days catching up on the sensationalised media coverage of the Camp 2 dispute, we feel that Himalayan Ascent should express a few words concerning the event from our perspective at Camp 2 and from discussions with the involved Sherpa climbers that day.
 
We already know that on April 27th, a team of Sherpas fixing the lines to Camp 3 had a heated exchange with 3 foreign climbers on the Lhotse face. The 3 climbers were not expected on the route that day by commercial expeditions and particularly were not expected by the fixing team. The team had already experienced one frustrating and failed day of route fixing and they were keen to get the job done. We watched the groups of climbers come together on the face, and after some time, the other 3 climbers separated and continued higher. We then heard the fixing team report into the radio their utter dissatisfaction regarding the exchange; the 3 climbers had not heeded to their requests to avoid their lines and they stated that the 3 climbers had verbally and physically abused them. Simone has since admitted that he did not speak respectfully to the Sherpas that day and that he did use extremely offensive words in Nepali. Understanding the seriousness of the matter, a lead western guide then attempted to radio Simone several times to request him to apologise to the fixing team, eventually Simone answered and we heard him reply along the lines of “I’ll talk to the f---ing Sherpas when I get down”. The Sherpas were shocked. Simone is a well-known respected climber in Nepal, and they were disappointed and angry at his arrogance and lack of respect of the job they were performing. The fixing team anchored their gear and dropped down to Camp 2.
 

At Camp 2 the fixing team discussed the event with western expedition leaders and with other Sherpas who had listened into the radio. When the 3 climbers arrived into Camp 2, the fixing team were ready to meet them. Everyone else at Camp 2 were also anticipating the “meeting”. The fixing team wanted an apology from the group for their hurtful words. Some western guides acted as a mediator between where the Sherpas were and the group’s camp. Simone was apparently reluctant to offer an immediate apology and eventually the fixing team became impatient, so they walked into the group’s camp to talk to Simone directly. To the many western bystanders watching, this may have seemed like the fixing team were going into the camp to fight. The fixing team threw rocks at the tent to get the group to come out. Some western guides ran to “protect” the group. One western guide tackled a Sherpa carrying a rock perhaps thinking he was going to throw it to hurt someone. Unfortunately, this first assault on the fixing team triggered them to respond aggressively. It was the regular start of what someone else has called a bar brawl at Camp 2.
 
Importantly, from our camp just 1 away from the group’s camp, we saw some 30 Sherpas and other bystanders just WATCHING witnessing the event. Reports claiming that 100-200 Sherpas attacked the 3 climbers are entirely FALSE. Only the fixing team were involved. The bystanders may have been perceived as being a part of the aggressive “mob”. We also did not witness other claims that rocks were used to hit others, and that Simone was stabbed by a penknife hitting his backpack waist strap (he wasn’t wearing a backpack). During the times that Simone did come out to make his apology on his knees, we did see the unfortunate slap and kick. Sure the fixing team were feeling quite incensed, but they weren’t fired up to kill anyone. Eventually the apology was accepted and the group disappeared to BC. The actual scuffle lasted 30 minutes. Later at BC both parties signed a shared statement of admitted error on their part and expressed an apology to each other.
 
This dispute was not really about a turf battle between 3 foreign alpine climbers and a fixing Sherpa team. It certainly wasn’t about Sherpas feeling jealous of western guides or threatened by western alpine climbers. As eluded by others, the fixing team were venting the frustration of all highly skilled and experienced Sherpa climbers who want to feel more respect from their fellow western colleagues. For years they have quietly suffered and endured arrogance displayed by some western guides and professional climbers. There are more summits of Everest by a Sherpa than by any other group. They know the mountains here like no other western climber, and commercial expeditions admit they cannot operate in Nepal without Sherpa support. After more than 60 years of climbing alongside their western colleagues, helping them to achieve first ascent glories on 8000m mountains, it’s a small request from humble mountain men. As a Nepali owned outfitter, we often hear our western outfitter friends acknowledge that the skilled Sherpa climbers deserve more. But what are they actually willing to give more of? More money? More benefits? More fame? Perhaps they should start with more respect.



Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
May 6, 2013 - 01:10am PT
How is this any different than the deal in Occangate, Peru this past year with the kids camping in the truck that got into a brawl with the locals?

One world, yes...

... but lots of customs and cultures.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 6, 2013 - 01:16am PT
The fixing team threw rocks at the tent to get the group to come out

Lhakpa's version sounds suspicious; a made-up story to cover themselves.. Personally, I don't believe it. I think the Sherpa's overreacted and need to be held accountable. Maybe they had a right to be ticked off but they initiated physical contact and outnumbered the climbers at least 10 to 1.

That said, we'll need a video of the event to know for sure. Sides have mostly been drawn, those who believe the climber's version, those who believe the Sherpa's.
nah000

climber
canuckistan
May 6, 2013 - 01:23am PT
assuming Jan is referring to the lhotse face with this comment:

"Only because they are elite climbers were they competent enough to be up there causing problems. Any less elite climbers trying that and the Sherpas would have had to stop fixing lines to do a rescue or body retrieval."

based on the photos and the general consensus that this is a 45-60 degree face this comment is at best out of touch with what "elite" is and at worst a misrepresentation of what "competent" climbing is.

the only reason sherpas are needed to fix lines on a 45-60 degree face [even at altitude] is because the average guided client is not a competent climber. with modern tools and ice screws this face is at best a novice climber's endeavour. for a lot of competent climbers, let alone elite, this is soloing terrain.

while i appreciate 99% of Jan's perspective this comment seems uncharacteristically hyperbolic.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 6, 2013 - 01:50am PT
Ice screws generally mean you're using a rope does it not? These climbers were all soloing without protection which is not recommended even on the Lhotse face which was icy and windy that day. The other thing to be remembered is the effect of altitude. I don't know how high you've been, but things are much more difficult at 22,000 feet, including thinking clearly.

Meanwhile, here is a very interesting article by Ed Webster whose credentials are certainly above reproach. He takes a position more in tune with mine it seems.

Forget the Everest brawl: the real story is how Sherpas are taking control.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/05/sherpa-resentment-fuelled-everest-brawl

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 6, 2013 - 02:55am PT
abseiling onto unroped climbers: check

Ok, lets examine this.

What no one disputes, is that the three climbers climbed alongside, then above the Sherpa, then crossed over.

They were above the Sherpa.

They had words with the Sherpa, at the same level.

They were still above the Sherpa team.

The Sherpa then descended.

I would like to understand how the Sherpa abseiled UPHILL onto the three climbers, who were above them near their camp?

you lyin' guys gotta get your stories squared among yourselves.....
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 6, 2013 - 03:00am PT
I just don't see how climbers should have to wait for a guide's workers to rig the mountain for people who can't do it for themselves.

You mean like the 3 climbers, who could not fix their own route through the icefall, and used the Sherpa's route?
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 6, 2013 - 03:03am PT
The only question i have is that is it a work site that impacts other peripheral citizens / clients that could be reasonably accommodated through better professional practices?

So how could this be approached?

Let me throw out this radical idea: bring together everyone who might be impacted, and allow everyone to give input as to the best and safest way to do this that will accommodate everyone, and come up with something with which everyone can agee......

OH!